"I share your assessment and the Chairman's assessment that low power television provide valuable services in Texas Utah and all across the country. That is why three years ago I flagged, that within the statutory constraints, the FCC do what it can within the context of the incentive spectrum auction, especially in the markets where we can, and there is not a need for the spectrum, that we help them stay in business. My concern is that some of the policy cuts we are on the brink of making, might end up impairing LPTV. And the Vacant Channel proceeding is one example. Where the FCC has said that if there is a vacant channel, or two vacant channels available, after the Incentive Auction, we will reserve those for unlicensed uses. Not to denigrate the importance of unlicensed, nevertheless, this is the TV band we are talking about. And if LPTV stations do not have a place to go, it would seem to me that we should do whatever we can to prioritize their staying in business."
"Won't setting aside an entire channel for unlicensed contribute to the (LPTV) problem?"
A SERIES OF QUESTIONS FROM
CHAIRMAN GREG WALDEN (R-OREGON)
"There is all this talk now about the Commission setting aside an entire channel for unlicensed. I support unlicensed, we have made a lot of spectrum available for unlicensed, and there is more to be done. But won't setting aside a whole channel for unlicensed contribute to the problems we are hearing from with translators and the LPTV community?"
"It will by definition, to the extent that the channel is solely allocated in the TV band...be a problem."
but Commissioner Pai is then cut off by Chairman Wheeler...
Chairman Wheeler goes on to say...
"In reality, probably not. We are talking about using TV white spaces to create additional applications for unlicensed in those areas where the duplex gap is not sufficient. And that is going to be a hand-full of areas, which I doubt that are any areas that the typical LPTV, rural kind of area."
"Do you commit to LPTV and translators
having a priority over unlicensed?"
Chairman Walden asks a key question.
Then Chairman Wheeler goes on to say...
"No, the mandate from this Committee is clear,
hat there is no priority given to LPTV."
"And the Committee also said that we need to be encouraging unlicensed. I do not think it comes down to that kind of solution. We are breaking our tails to be able to accomplish both of these, and I think we will be successful."
Chairman Walden then tells FCC Chairman Wheeler...
"My recollection of the statute is, and we helped write it here, is that unlicensed was never set aside as a priority to create a nationwide band plan."
"We had a lot of discussion, about that very fact, that you don't go clear all this (spectrum) and then give it away, to effect, pretty major operators...my concern is, and I am hearing a lot from my colleagues, who are concerned about the translators in the west, that if they get squished out, and go dark, and you create an entire band for unlicensed, that only adds to the problem."
"There is a public interest obligation underpinning all of this at the Commission."
Chairman Walden goes on to say...
"I realize they (LPTV and translators) don't have all of the rights, like Class-A. I was in radio and had translators, I understood I could be pushed out. But through this you have some flexibility here to manage, and I guess that is what we are calling for you to use."