Photo: Andria Chamberlin for The Wall Street Journal.
In the Elevator With FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
How many robocalls can one get in a single elevator ride?
By Joanna Stern
Nov. 08, 2019 7:00 am
WSJ's (Wall Street Journal) Joanna Stern "bumps into" FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and asks him about why she still gets robocalls, the battle over net neutrality, and what he thinks 5G will do for the average consumer
What would you have to say to Chairman Pai if you had a one minute elevator ride with him? Pitch your best advocacy message on behalf of LPTV and translators, tell him about your great hyperlocal station, or make that big ask for cable must carry, or a new Class A filing window?
Nah, all a waste of time, and ones which he could easily fend off. For me, I would ask when the next TV incentive auction would be, and that LPTV is ready to free up UHF 36-27, that is, as along as we get a "buy-out" for what the spectrum is really worth.
Heck, the 2017 Incentive Auction priced low-band TV spectrum at an average of $7.50 per TV pop for the the broadcasters, and was sold for almost $15.00 to the wireless carriers. And the almost 1500 displaced LPTV and translators provided just about $10 billion in auction value for the spectrum they moved from. In the next auction there will not be any more spectrum to move to, so time to clear out LPTV with a buy out! We got the band plans, we got the spectrum, time to plan for another auction 3-5 years from now!
Check out the impacts of the 5 already engineered band plans would be for a new auction of UHF 36-27...
Yes, some 489 full power stations would need to be repacked back down UHF 26 and below, about two a market. But since it would be a voluntary incentive auction, LPTV and translators from VHF 2 to UHF 36 would all be eligible to participate in the auction.
And of course, this auction would not happen until about 5 years from now and the spectrum put into productive use in about 7 years. But the LPTV and translator reverse auction would happen within 2 years from now. Think I am crazy? The Chairman already has the authority to ask for this, and should! Everyone wins, give an honorable exit to many, and shape what the next tv band would be.
What do you do with indie full powers without national network carriage. The investment is limited, and so is the return. And the Class-'s, should they be in the auction. I say, let them downlicense to LPTV status, and yes they are in.
The chart above shows 489 displacements of full power stations, both com and noncom. They would be moving 5+ years from now. Fully paid for by the auction proceeds.
It will take considerable planning as the regulatory and the compliance process takes over, but those accepting the buyback, the reverse, first step, we just don't want to wait so long. The majority of the spectrum sold in the 2017 incentive auction came from displacing LPTV and translators. As much as $10 billion of the $19+ billion sold. You're welcome.
Valuations two years from now, who knows? $3.75/tv POP?