FCC Wants 120 MHz Back From TV

The FCC's National Broadband Plan calls for the agency to reallocate more than a third of the broadcast TV spectrum -- 120 MHz of 300 MHz -- for wireless broadband access within the next five years through a combination of "repacking" the band and "voluntary" channel sharing among stations.

Toward its ambitious goal to make affordable broadband access to all Americans by 2020, the FCC’s National Broadband Plan calls for the agency to reallocate more than a third of the broadcast TV spectrum — 120 MHz of 300 MHz — for wireless broadband access within the next five years.

The plan calls for the FCC to free up at least 36 MHz from the broadcast spectrum band by “repacking” the band and obtain the balance of the 120 MHz by encouraging “voluntary” channel sharing among stations.

The recovered spectrum would be auctioned to wireless broadband access operators and, with the blessing of Congress, the proceeds would be shared with the broadcasters, the plan says. The plan makes no mention of how the proceeds might be split.

It is, in essence, the same plan that Blair Levin, the head of the task force that wrote the plan, floated last October in informal discussions with broadcasters.

“The preference is to establish a voluntary, market-based mechanism to effect a reallocation,” the plan says.

However, the plan also says that if authorized by Congress the FCC should consider imposing spectrum fees on commercial, full-power TV stations.


And, it adds, Congress should consider using those fees as well as some of the spectrum auction proceeds to fund an “endowment” for noncommercial media.

Fearing that the nation is falling behind other countries, Congress asked the FCC for a plan on improving broadband access in the United States last spring as part of its economic stimulus package.

FCC officially delivered the 356-page plan to Congress today, although it released copies to reporters yesterday after details began leaking to the press.

“The National Broadband Plan is a 21st century roadmap to spur economic growth and investment, create jobs, educate our children, protect our citizens, and engage in our democracy,” said Chairman Julius Genachowski in a press release this morning. “It’s an action plan, and action is necessary to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, and harness the power of broadband to help address so many vital national issues.”

The entire report is now available on the FCC website. Chapter five deals with broadcasting and spectrum and is the basis for this story.

The plan sees high-speed mobile networks as critical to the nation’s broadband competitiveness and thus seeks to reallocate spectrum from other services and make it available to wireless providers through auctions.

Under the plan, the recovered TV spectrum would be pooled with spectrum from mobile satellite and other non-broadcast users. The goal is to come up with 500 MHz for wireless broadband within 10 years, including 300 MHz within the next five.

The plan sees channel-sharing as the most productive way of recapturing broadcast spectrum. Two stations could share a channel and still each broadcast an HD programming service, it says.

“Alternatively, more than two stations broadcasting in SD (not HD) could share a 6 MHz channel. Numerous permutations are possible, including dynamic arrangements whereby broadcasters sharing a channel reach agreements to exchange capacity to enable higher or lower transmission bit rates depending on market-driven choices.”

The plan says that the FCC should ensure that each station in a channel-sharing arrangement continues to enjoy must-carry rights.

The plan hopes to induce broadcasters to share channels or simply give back their spectrum by giving them a share of the proceeds from the auctioning of the spectrum to wireless providers.

To share proceeds from what it calls incentive auctions with broadcasters, the FCC will have to get the permission of Congress.

The plan makes the case for that permission.

“Incentive auctions can provide a practical, market-based way to reassign spectrum, shifting a contentious process to a cooperative one,” the plan argues. They can be “especially useful where fragmentation of spectrum licenses makes it difficult for private parties to aggregate spectrum in marketable quantities.”

The plan acknowledges that the government would have a tough time forcing stations off of their spectrum.

“FCC spectrum licensees often possess certain rights and expectations that can make it difficult, in practice, for the FCC to reclaim and re-license that spectrum for another purpose. Contentious spectrum proceedings can be time-consuming, sometimes taking many years to resolve, and incurring significant opportunity costs.”

According to the plan, channel sharing gives stations an alternative to other proposed uses for excess digital capacity, namely multicasting or mobile DTV.

The plan points out that broadcasters have launched on average fewer than one multicasting channel per station. “The revenue generated by such services has been modest thus far and is forecast to remain so in the near term….”

The plan also downplays mobile DTV. The business model is uncertain, it says. Entities other than broadcasters are pursuing the mobile video business, it says, “but the method of delivery that will be favored by consumers and be successful in the market has yet to be determined.”

While the channel sharing would be voluntary, the repacking would not.

To recover at least 36 MHz from the broadcasting, the plan proposes that the FCC reduce the service areas and distance separation among stations operating on the same or adjacent channels. The plan says that this could be done “without increasing interference to unacceptable levels.”

However, the plan acknowledges that repacking as well as channel sharing would result is some loss of service.

“Some over-the-air consumers would lose reception from one or more stations as a result of stations voluntarily going off the air, choosing to share channels with other stations (and thus change their service area), or experiencing loss in service area due to increased interference following a repacking.

“In addition, over-the-air consumers would need to reorient antennas or rescan their TVs, as they did following the DTV transition in June 2009.”

To mitigate the impact on consumers, the plan says the FCC should ensure that consumers in rural areas and small markets are not significantly impacted.

Also, it says, the FCC should “ensure that longstanding policy goals…are to be met, such as localism, viewpoint diversity, competition and opportunities for new entrants to participate in the industry, including women and members of minority groups.”

The plan suggests that some of the proceeds from broadcast spectrum auctions could be used so that consumers that meet certain unspecified criteria, presumably low income and elderly, could continue to receive all broadcast signals through cable or satellite.

The plan comes with a back-up plan for freeing up broadcast spectrum.

“If the FCC does not receive authorization to conduct incentive auctions, or if the incentive auctions do not yield a significant amount of spectrum, the FCC should pursue other mechanisms,” it says.

Among them:

  • Modify licenses to require stations to share channels “where necessary.”
  • Conduct so-called overlay auctions to broadcast spectrum. It would be left to the winners of such auctions to negotiate with incumbent broadcasters to clear the spectrum. The broadcasters would not share in the auction proceeds, “but they should receive reimbursement from auction winners for any relocation or other transition expenses incurred.”
  • Transition broadcasting to a cellular architecture, in which stations would broadcast over a network of multiple low-power transmitters using new distributed transmission system and single frequency network technology. Such an approach would free up spectrum by reducing or eliminating “the need for channel interference protections that result in only a fraction of the total spectrum allocated to broadcast being used directly by stations.”

The plan also calls on the FCC to move expeditiously to close it white spaces proceeding, which opens up unused broadcast channels in every markets for use by unlicensed broadband access and other computer devices. In trials, it says, the industry has “demonstrated the promise and potential” of white spaces without causing interference to broadcasters.


MSTV President David Donovan: “MSTV supports voluntary efforts that will help facilitate the deployment of additional wireless broadband outlets. We look forward to working with the commissioners and the Congress to facilitate the goals of the National Broadband Plan.

“Unfortunately, according to some reports today, the plan does not appear to be fully voluntary. The National Broadband Plan could force television broadcasters to change channels and reduce service areas, perhaps stranding millions of viewers. And ‘non-volunteers’ might be punished with onerous spectrum fees and other indirectly coercive measures.”

Rep. Henry Waxman: “Chairman Genachowski and the FCC are to be commended for producing this comprehensive and forward-looking report that touches on so many aspects of American society. As the plan notes, ‘Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century.’

“The plan will be a critically important tool as Congress looks to the challenge of utilizing fully the transformative power of broadband. I look forward to exploring the recommendations in more detail and in the bipartisan manner we have traditionally addressed communications and technology issues.

“Chairman Boucher’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet will hold its first hearing on the National Broadband Plan on Thursday, March 25, 2010.  All five FCC commissioners have been invited to testify.”

Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller: “Broadband can remake our communications networks in our new century. But more than that, it can make a difference in people’s lives — change education, improve health care, shore up business and employment opportunities, and foster a new and more democratic dialogue.

“During the last decade, we have watched as our nation risked becoming a broadband backwater. So I welcome the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. I look forward to reading and reviewing its recommendations. But above all, I look forward to the FCC moving ahead to make broadband a reality for everyone in this country, no matter who they are and no matter where they live.”

NAB EVP Dennis Wharton: “We were pleased by initial indications from FCC members that any spectrum reallocation would be voluntary, and were therefore prepared to move forward in a constructive fashion on that basis. However, we are concerned by reports today that suggest many aspects of the plan may in fact not be as voluntary as originally promised. Moreover, as the nation’s only communications service that is free, local and ubiquitous, we would oppose any attempt to impose onerous new spectrum fees on broadcasters.”

NCTA President-CEO Kyle McSlarrow: “Chairman Genachowski and his staff working on the Omnibus Broadband Initiative should be commended for their efforts to draft a broadband ‘blueprint’ that surveys the technology landscape, that identifies industry progress to date and remaining policy challenges, and that suggests new ideas and reforms to advance our common goal of promoting investment, innovation, and broadband networks that are second to none. As with any report of this size, variety and complexity, we expect that we will have points of agreement and disagreement on specific issues. But the report makes a significant contribution to the dialogue, and we remain committed to working with all members of the commission in discussing new ideas and initiatives that will facilitate the ubiquitous availability and use of robust broadband networks.”

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.): “The National Broadband Plan will unleash a tidal wave of new investment and innovation. Broadband is essential infrastructure for the 21st century, enabling us to compete in the global economy, save money on electricity bills and create good-paying jobs.

“The National Broadband Plan positions our country to lead in this vital area, and I am pleased that the Commission has produced such as visionary, far-reaching plan with specific strategies and goals to help our country compete and win in the fiercely competitive global economy.”

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge: “The Federal Communications Commission has produced a balanced, comprehensive and forward-looking plan that should serve the country well. The U.S. has long needed such a plan to keep pace other countries, and this plan, if implemented, will accomplish that objective.”

Dr. Mark Cooper, director of research, Consumer Federation of America: “We see today’s National Broadband Plan report to congress as a significant first step in the right direction. It strikes a good balance between what needs to be done in the long-term and what can be done in the immediate future. Given the complete absence of policies to address the digital divide and promote competition in broadband in the past decade, this is an ambitious agenda and a good starting point for responding to the challenge confronting the U.S. communications network.”

Comments (53)

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Kathryn Miller says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

the fun part is that this is effectively dead. The FCC can only do this through a rulemaking proceeding that includes each station. Each station will be doing maximum effort to drag down the process, and it takes the FCC six months to clear it’s throat. Genachowski can’t do this without many, many votes.

Doug Carey says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Next, each 6:00 P.M. anchor will be required to “voluntarily” give a pint of blood DAILY.

Like HELL this will happen.

Jennifer Rangel says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Wow…356 pages to justify a totally useless agenda. This is about aggregating power at the FCC level…not broadband. If they can reclassify broadband as common carrier, imagine what kind of fun things they can do.

And more non-commercial media? Where did that come from? Apparently Jupiter, only because it’s further out than Mars. It’s not difficult to understand why so many people are just pissed at the government.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    they’ll have more problems with reclassifying broadband as a common carrier (another of Reed Hundt’s follies still rolling around today) than they will have with broadcasters. Hint: ISPs have property rights in their services.

Manuel Morales says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Well for some reason my post got deleted. But I proposed the FCC tell congress to lax the ownership rules that would allow Broadcasters to own more than 1 Big 4 in a Market without jumping through hoops. This would allow putting “stations” on 1 stick instead of 2 or 3. This would free up a LOT of spectrum. This makes too much sense though.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    the FCC has had “antenna farm” policies for more than 30 years. There are many ways to put rf facilities on one stick. There are all sorts of problems assuming this in regulations or frequency planning.

    Binky Bob says:

    March 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Interesting proposal, Sammy, but you’re right–it makes TOO much sense so naturally the government won’t do it.

Elaine Scharfenberg says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

So if you really shuck down to the kernel, they want as much of the UHF band as they can possibily take back (channels 38-51 since they already have 52+).

OK, so lets say that is fine. How about looking at how to improve VHF (low and high band) transmission systems? Most High V’s are having serious troubles with coverage even this far removed from the transmission date. Or better yet how about 808-902Mhz for Land Mobile or Navigational beacons that have been widely replaced by GPS systems?

What is being missed in all of this is that the Internet is a transport system. Broadcasting is too. Why can’t they go exist? Why does one have to be favored over the other?

Christina Perez says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

And the battle is joined. This is all about two things: The desire of the cable/broadband cabal to kill free, universal broadcast TV; and the desire of authoritarians within the federal bureaucracy to reclaim spectrum so that they can use new radio technologies — such as microwave/laser and RF “directed energy weapons” — to impose an Orwellian control over American society.

Don’t believe it? Just look around. All those “cell towers” aren’t for telecommunications. Many are part of a covert, nationwide telemetry-based weapon system that uses RF, microwaves and lasers to silently attack, impair, subjugate, even torture or “slow kill” extrajudicially “targeted” Americans.

THAT’S the main reason they want your spectrum, broadcasters.

Wake up and smell the police state that’s decimating YOUR industry, and destroying OUR democracy and personal liberty. Read this mainstream print/TV journalist’s expose here:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener

    Teri Keene says:

    March 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    So it was PhillyPlash who was in the Santa Claus costume that day at the Vet and got pelted with those snowballs…

    kendra campbell says:

    March 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Philly – You really need to stop skipping your meds.

      Christina Perez says:

      March 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      “Take your meds / tin foil hat” = Lamest psy ops ever.

      Calling Roslyn Mazer: Alert the DNI. This paid blog-spamming op is NOT “tradecraft.”

      Christina Perez says:

      March 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      “Take your meds / tin foil hat” = Lamest psy ops ever.

      Calling Roslyn Mazer: Alert the DNI. This paid blog-spamming op is NOT “tradecraft.”

      PS — This comment would not post upon the first attempt. Is this more censorship by government “fusion center” operatives? I think so… and I also think some federal officials who wish to uphold the Constitutional rights of Americans are keeping book on a rogue program. Have a nice day, “jdshaw.”

    carel rueppel says:

    March 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    You kinda had me in your corner till the tin foil hat came out. Never saw a foil baseball cap before…

Maria Laing says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Okay, I get it, Philly Flash. The Thought Police are trying to take over our brains. So why not just wear an aluminum foil skull cap? Seriously, though, your references to web sites for additional info are a pretty good justification for NOT expanding access to the internet.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    and, whatever happened to his conspiracy involving Joe Halderman, now that “that fool” has pleaded guilty to extortion? Did he fall on his sword for CBS News (haha) and get fired by them at the same time? Or, is Mr. Phlash the deluded one?

      Christina Perez says:

      March 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Easy. Joe the patsy may have gotten off light (and probably will never spend a single day in jail) in exchange for keeping his mouth shut about who really initiated what may have been a sting against Letterman by self-righteous, bedroom-snooping goons. Just a theory, of course. Any more questions?

Teri Green says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

This is an excellent idea. Digitial TV has turned 1 tv station in six stations. That is a huge gift for current TV stations. I would be opposed to this, if it meant the TV spectrum was not already unused. Any new TV stations wouldn’t be about new TV programs but merely run more infomercials and other such programming. There isn’t enough programming to justify more stations, if there was TV stations would air it, but they don’t. The FCC should be charging yearly fees for each TV channel. Then they could discount the fee. After all in if a station isn’t using HD then it has no right to keep that spectrum on hold.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    my dear eric, the FCC has been charging tv stations an annual spectrum use fee for more than 20 years, among other fees. It’s important to keep up; that way, you can tell the new ideas from the regurgitated ones.

    Peter Grewar says:

    March 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Considering that the digital TV transition happened less than a year ago, wouldn’t it really make sense to give broadcasters a few years to make use of their digital spectrum, rather than declaring it a failure today.

    Digital TV can be a real alternative to overpriced cable and satellite packages, if given the chance. Why are so many anxious to kill it off before broadcasters are given that chance?

tom denman says:

March 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Philly.. The paranoia is a joke right? Please tell me you’re just kidding around.

Since broadcasters have spent billions of dollars moving to digital, as mandated by the same government who forced the move in the first place, then the government should pay broadcasters to again move their FULL 6Mhz of bandwidth to other channels, inluding VHF if needed. That should also include maximization of a VHF DTV station to something in the order of >250kw ERP to have similar field strength of a maximized UHF-DT station and full reimbursement of the previous expenses broadcasters already made in the transition. Anything else would, in my view, be unreasonable and unacceptable.

Wagner Pereira says:

March 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

They want 120 Mhz? Then let them take channels 2-13.

Brian Walshe says:

March 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Broadcasters have just finished installing the infrastructure to transmit full-bandwidth HD for consumers to receive over the air for free… and now some policy-makers want to take that away and force consumers to accept less quality than they now get by instituting a spectrum sharing plan.

How much hot air is going to be invested in this proposal, when we have more pressing national policy matters to address: Food, housing, basic necessities and health care… and those two foreign wars we’re embroiled in. Oh, and that pesky federal budget deficit.


    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    really? all broadcasters can transmit “full-bandwidth HD?”

    I think you need to talk to some of my client stations ..

Karl Voss says:

March 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

It is hard enough for broadcast stations to remain free to those that can’t afford TV. Economic conditions has their revenue down…No viewer has to pay to see free TV….

Are they trying to force free TV to fold?

Dante Betteo says:

March 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I am 100% against giving any more spectum to the internet. They just want to see more porn. The 120 mhz they want equals to 20 channels. Why can’t the internet or broadband go higher to the ghz.? I agreee maybe give the 54 to 90 mhz channels 2 to 6 since it does not work well for OTA digital TV. Yes fire up the wattage for channels 7 to 13. I would suggest 75 to 100 kws instead of the 20 to 30 kws now. Also this is all like health care reform being rammed down our necks.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    the Internet is the most efficient system ever developed for distributing child porn. Think of the FCC’s other recent obsession — fleeting profanities and even “breastgate”. If they only paid attention to what is routinely distributed in usenet groups and via web sites, they could spend all their attempted common-carrier status to tsk-tsk what the Internet is largely used for.

Patricia Logan-Olson says:

March 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

AT&T has already indicated (check Consumer Reports) that under estimated the amount of spectrum iPhone are taking and are having trouble with the reliability of their voice services. Data exchange is getting slower even in their 3G environment. So, let’s burn TV so that people can play with their ‘apps.”

To take spectrum for the irresponsible usage of smart phone owners to access the internet for superfluous information or for an additional “screen” that challenges the profitability of over-the-air television is unfair and ridiculous. Let them manage their broadband environment and let TV manage theirs.

Doug Halonen says:

March 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

FCC rule-making seems to be just behind the technological curve. I think that the FCC should take some of that spectrum auction money and offer a cash prize for a technological innovation that gets more use out of the spectrum we have rather than mess around with what just took 15 years to settle. Another thing I’d like to see is some of our more popular advertiser-supported cable channels showing up on the digital sub-channels of local TV stations. That would be true “a la carte.”

Paul Hnidka says:

March 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm

This is all about making free TV go away. Did you see the article on Reed Hund’ts speech? He admitted it!Once free TV goes away and everything is on the internet, what you see is tracked. Where you go can be redirected or blocked. If you can’t afford to pay, then you don’t need to know. Just do what the friendly representatative of the government tells you to do. Don’t think, don’t decide-the government will do that for you. They know what is best…. GAG! CHOKE! PUKE!!!

Warren Bottorff says:

March 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Lets see, take away free over the air TV from the public and sell it to companies that will then charge the public to use it, and oh by the way make a nice profit too. Forget about the millions spent to go digital to provide a HD signal and bring the consumer the best possible media experience, now let stations share the spectrum so they can only transmit a SD signal. What happens if stations give up different parts of the spectrum so there is no section of the spectrum nationwide, how usefull is that. Sounds like the FCC was taken to dinner by the wireless associations.

Ellen Samrock says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I would agree to this plan IF, 1) each station was allowed enough spectrum to broadcast one HD channel and Mobile DTV, 2) ensure cable or satellite TV must-carry status for all local terrestrial stations, including LDTV, 3) that compensation from the auction be generous enough to qualify as adequate for what broadcast television would be losing, 4) drop all EEOC, closed captioning and children’s programming requirements and NO localism requirements (these would, instead, be voluntary).

After all, a small cadre of companies stand to get very rich at the expense of broadcast television with this proposal and once surrendered there is no way the television industry can ever get this spectrum back.

    george willingmyre says:

    March 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm


    In your post you reference LDTV. Did you mean LPTV? There are technologies that would allow broadcasters to do Internet, wireless cable, etc., but the FCC really doesn’t want anyone to know about this.

      Ellen Samrock says:

      March 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      I was referring to LPTV as LDTV, the speculation being that soon all LPTV stations will be required to go digital.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    this is a funny one! it’s not possible today to transmit one HD signal (at least of 18 mhz), metadata and one M/H stream. And, the FCC hasn’t even hinted that it will begin a proceeding to force lptvs to digital, so …

      Ellen Samrock says:

      March 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      Yes, to an extent I am being facetious. According to my Mbps budget, I’m allowing 12 Mbps for a 720p signal and 4 Mbps for 2-3 channels of Mobile DTV. This gives the FCC a generous 3 Mbps or so to auction off. It was actually broadcast attorney, David Oxenford, who speculated that the FCC will require LPTV stations to go digital.

      The point is that broadcast television needs its spectrum, all of it, to survive.

        Kathryn Miller says:

        March 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm

        agreed, and even perhaps a way to get more bits out of 8-vsb.

      Ellen Samrock says:

      March 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      As a follow up to the speculation about LPTV stations going digital, here is a portion from the FCC Broadband Plan:
      “Low power DTV transition. The FCC should establish a deadline to achieve the DTV transition of low-power TV (LPTV) stations by the end of 2015 or after the reallocation of spectrum from the broadcast TV bands is complete.”
      So, yes, the FCC has been and is thinking about a mandatory transition for LPTV stations to go digital.

Christina Perez says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

My reply to “jdshaw” would not post. Are U.S. surveillance operatives censoring tvnewscheck? Is this a good way to spend taxpayer dollars? Just asking the question — if “THEY” will let me.

Doug Alden says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm

And “the public at large” will never know the feds sold the public airwaves (including O.T.A. TV) to the highest bidder so we could study the effects of pig manure in Iowa or yet another study on the effects of cell phone radiation. Maybe more RF radiating from every street corner is NOT what we need.

Susan Baurenfeind says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm

OTA Is and should remain….free.
Where money is seen…the government…and otheres….want much of that.
Auctions…who would win?

Why not a public vote for each market…. OTA…free. Internet with many fees… Why not free internet…as with OTA signals… Because some see…..$$$$ and want your $$$.

The publc airwaves…the public transmissions…..using any of the spectrum….should be FREE.

Is that not the purpose of the FCC….communications….by any media…Free to the public….to which these spectrums belong…to the public. Those who use them…should not control them.

Melinda Santana-Carey says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

For those of you who voted for Obama, you also voted in this FCC. It’s just another government takeover program. Just like back in the old days when the government was into grabbing land, now its out to grab the airwaves. So, what else is new? Food for thought: Notice how the Toyota story broke AFTER the government took control of GM? Also, did you notice that the just a couple of weeks after President Obama signed a 800 billion dollar stimulus bill full of pork that we had an outbreak of swine flu? OK, ok–I’ll admit that you can’t blame the President for swine flu; however, you have to admit that he’s such a media hound that the idea of him taking back the airwaves is a moot point!

DavidSams.net (join me on LinkedIn)

m f says:

March 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Anyone have a link to the advance copy of the actual plan that was released to reporters today?

jeff lee says:

March 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hey, if Broadcasting goes away all of those politicians up for re-election will have to go door to door to get the word out.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    March 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    or, use spam. ugh.

Dante Betteo says:

March 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I agree with BB Boater: It is about govenment control. Our military who fought at Normandy, Pearl Harbor and other places did not fight for this type of America. OBAMA wants big government to control and make most Americans depentent on ther Big Blotted Federal Government. I agree with David Sams, Yes with Obama as President and his big government yes he want to control the airwaves and the FCC is his lap dog.

douglas skene says:

March 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Okay here is a thought why the “takeing” now at a time where over the air viewing is increasing. LA time repost 400,000 hispanics just dumped cable to OTA. Local antanna installers are working hard to keep up on antanna installs. Did some just wakeup to the fact that OTA is not dying but doing very well thank you. Is it that non-broadcasters are waking up to this and saying “we want then to pay us, we do no want the viewer to get it for free”

Ben Gao says:

March 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

OTA TV is FREE, got that, it is FREE. IF, and IF Broadband access would be FREE, but you know damn well Broadband will NOT be FREE – it’s all about the money. This is the biggest bunch of BS ever from the FCC and these lawyers – put engineers as all the commssioners and then see what would happen!

Ellen Samrock says:

March 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

It’s hard to know what the motivations are for the government trying to take back the TV airwaves. Are they punishing all TV broadcasters for the sins of Fox? Is this just the ego of an FCC Chairman trying to make his stamp in government as the “father of low-cost affordable wireless broadband?” Is it a matter of more control on the media? Even Commissioner Copps recent criticism on the lack of local government news on L.A. TV stations sounds like a pre-text for the dismantling of broadcast television.

All I know is that we broadcasters are going to need all of our spectrum if we’re to offer HD and Mobile DTV services. We cannot survive with just a single SD or HD signal. This isn’t the 60’s. Viewers demand more and we have the capabilities to offer more–but not if we are going to be cut off at the knees with a loss of spectrum.

Dante Betteo says:

March 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

Yes I like The FREE HDTV!