FCC COMMISSIONER'S  MONTHLY MEETING TODAY  AT 10:30 AM EAST

PHONE CALL RANT


LPTV CALLS THE CHAIRMAN
IF WE THOUGHT HE WOULD TALK TO US WE WOULD CALL, BUT IT MIGHT BE EASIER TO JUST TELL HIM HERE WHAT WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT 

Hello, Mr. Chairman?  
Thanks for taking this call.  We see from  an ex parte filing  this week, that you had a call with a couple of the lawyers from Microsoft.  And that they want you to consider not just one vacant channel for unlicensed, but three channels!

Seems a bit excessive for an industry which can't get a positive score from the CBO, so we thought we would share with you how the Microsoft request impacts the 7500+ LPTV and TV translators, as well as the Federal Treasury.  

First, we need to see what the 11 possible incentive auction band plans already are subsidizing for the poor unlicensed industry.  You see sir, the 11 band plans range from 14 to 28 MHz for unlicensed already.  If you then add in the "naturally occurring" vacant channel, and two more of the three that Microsoft wants, you get another 18 MHz.  Now that means that unlicensed will have free, for no cost, 32 to 46 MHz, nationwide.  That is a lot of prime beachfront spectrum for an industry that can't figure out how CBO can score it positively.

Mr. Chairman, I know your bean counters have not run these numbers, so hold on while we bring you up to speed...

1)  Based on the CBO incentive auction scoring and projection, the average nationwide price of 1-MHz in one market is $2.5 million.  So, a 6-MHz channel is worth about $15 million.  To clear all 210 markets, everywhere, you need way more than one station in each of the the 210 DMA's.  We estimate that you will need as many as 420 6-MHz channels to cover the entire country.  Now for the 3 channels that Microsoft wants for free, well that is some 1260 6-MHz channels. 

2)  So, we need 1260 6-MHz channels to get 3 nationwide additional unlicensed channels.  At $15 million each, based on the estimated incentive auction average clearing price, these 3 free channels come to $18.9 billion!  If you just want to count 1 station lost per 210 DMA, then it is 210 x 3 = 630 channels x $15 million = $9.45 billion.

3)  Now if we add this 18-MHz, plus the 14 to 28-MHz already set aside for unlicensed, guard bands, duplex gap, we get 32 to 46-MHz for unlicensed, nationwide.  Again, if we take the conservative route, and use just 1 station lost for each channel in a market, it would be 32 x 210 = 6,720 MHz / 6-MHz = 1,120 6-MHz channels x $15 million each = $16.8 billion!

So, with this simple math, we can easily see that the unlicensed advocates, meaning Microsoft, Google, and their ecosystems, are robbing the Treasury of between $19 to $17 billion of potential revenues, just so they do not have to pay for a license.  That's a lot of roads, bridges, and infrastructure projects which could be funded.

In closing, since I know ya gotta go, let me say that to take a call from Microsoft's lawyers to hear them plead for more corporate welfare, especially at the expense of the most diverse small businesses in broadcasting, well, I am glad you are doing your job, and I am not.  Microsoft wants $18 billion of free spectrum - right, sure....FEEL THE BERN!


POST AUCTION CHAOS PREDICTED FOR CP's


Last week our Coalition had yet another meeting with the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force (IATF).  And since the 3rd LPTV NPRM Report and Order has not yet gone to the Commissioners for a vote, we still have time to attempt to explain our positions about the impacts to LPTV and TV translators.  We brought up what we think could be a substantial problem related to when and how unbuilt new construction permits were allowed to file for new channel assignments.  Let me explain...

Six months after the auction the FCC is planning on opening a window for displaced licensed LP, LD, and TX.  This includes the remaining 1500 analog to digital conversions.  What is not included, are the more than 3000 existing construction permits already authorized today.  

Unlike the first displacement window for licensed LP, LD, and TX, the existing CP's will not have a formal process, but will have to compete, file first, and basically be able to both legal and engineer quickly, be ready to outspend your competitors, and survival of the fittest will win the day.  Just like today's operating environment, except everyone is looking for a channel assignment and as many pops as possible.

So we asked the IATF if they could structure the construction permit window, in a similar manner as it is doing the licensed displaced process.


MWBE's + DE's = MMTC


We found quite interesting a filing this week a  Petition for Reconsideration submitted to the FCC by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council ("MMTC"). It makes quite the argument in favor of how to treat to treat secondary market transactions, M&A activities post auction, a new recommendation to Congress for tax certificates, bidding credits, and favorable terms for Designated Entities in the incentive auction process. Along with this filing is one in support from Coleman Bazelon, from the Brattle Group. There is a lot to ponder here, and we think it needs more attention.




 







The research needed to craft solutions for the LPTV and TV translator industry just doesn't happen by itself.  Members of our Coalition have stepped up and provided the basic funding, but we also need your financial support to keep the process moving forward.  Rather than go to the Courts, we are trying to get favorable legislation passed, and the research we do is essential.  If you have a license or construction permit, then it is in your vital interest to support this research and advocacy process.  


thanks,

Mike Gravino, Director
LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition
202-604-0747
lptvcoalition@gmail.com