and from last week...


The FCC last week issued an indefinite suspension of the Comments cycle for the  vacant channel authority for unlicensed use above licensed use of the last remaining channel in a market.  This action was taken by the FCC based on a Motion which NAB filed, and which was supported in the Proceedings by our Coalition.  

Our Coalition has been demanding in the Proceedings for an LPTV Impact Analysis for over 18 months. Since this suspension is indefinite, it is imperative for the LPTV and TV translator industries to conduct the research needed.  

and for those you which might have missed this related info from last week

Continued Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission

Tue. July 28, 2015

"It was never our intent  that these 
diverse voices in the marketplace 
would get fully silenced"


"...For a successful auction, we all know that the sellers and buyers need to fully understand and support the rules. Yet when it comes to the band plan, questions and uncertainty abound. Layered on top is growing concern regarding how the repack will work, including as it relates to the future of low power television stations and translators. It was never our intent that these diverse voices in the marketplace would get fully silenced..."

"What can be done to make sure 
we still have low power television,  once this repackaging is complete?  

"I am one of the advocates for low power television.  And as we know that they do not have any real standing in this repackaging of the spectrum if the main line broadcasters give it back.  But they have a product, they provide a valuable service to the country, and I would like to see them helped in some way if at all possible...what can be done to insure that after this repackaging is complete, that we still have low power television?"

"Low power is an important voice 
i n the community, and translators as well."


"I set up a meeting with low power operators last year at the NAB to make sure we were talking with them.  I think there are multiple things we can do for them within the statutory framework...we will help them find new channels after the moving of channels...we don't don't know which low powers are going to be affected because we don't know what is going to happen in the auction...we don't know what going to be available to move, we we don't know about the auction.  We kind of have to stay in limbo and watch for that. But even beyond that, we are going to begin a rulemaking which we will allow low powers and translators to share a channel.  Just like we are allowing, licensees, broadcast licensees, to share a channel. That will create and take advantage of digital and create another path..."

Congressman Barton then asks...
"You do see a that there will still be a wealth of low power television?"

Chairman Wheeler replies...
"Yes sir. 

"I am concerned that certain policy cuts we are making will impair LPTV.  And the Vacant Channel proceeding is one of those."


"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?"


"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 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, 
t 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 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."

Mike Gravino,  Director
LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition