PREPARE TO BE BOARDED
THEY ARE COMING FOR YOUR SPECTRUM
"...most LPTV licenses and construction permits are held by speculators who are unlikely to make the investment in a digital transition or in broadcast content that will serve their community in any meaningful way."
New America Foundation
There comes a time when you got to stand up and say, "prove it". Calabrese and his OTI are very comfortable in making these wild non-fact based statements about LPTV and TV translator spectrum rights, and the licensees and permittees who have the public interest obligations to build and manage them. He and MicroGoo are all aflutter because they are losing their request for three free contiguous unlicensed channels in each DMA. They are trying to blame the FCC and the Chairman for not delivering, when, they should have known all along that LPTV and TV translators would not go down without a fight. If they can't deliver the three channels, their disruptive new business model which uses free spectrum is a non-starter, at least in the TV band.
But there is a plan for them to get all of the spectrum they want. The current model and mantra for the FCC Chairman is the now familiar "competition, competition, competition. And his pre-auction model is that "not everyone will get everything they want". I suggest that the new post auction mantra be "share, share, share". And the new model to be, "everyone gets what they need when they need it."
Broadcasters will also need unlicensed spectrum post-auction as a key component of ATSC 3.0 business models. But getting to that point in time, well it is still a lot of unfunded Federal mandate expenses we first have to consider, for those of us not eligible for the auction and relocation funds. So excuse me if the thought of implementing 3.0 after I already have to pay out of pocket because we were displaced in the auction.
ATSC 1.0 doesn't provide a fat enough pipe, nor provides a strong enough signal for data-services. 2.0 uses 1.0, but provides all of the addressability and interactivity which will be used in 3.0. But 3.0 is a totally different modulation, converging back into the global de facto standards, OFDM & IP. LPTV in dense urban areas will be able to use 3.0 and SFN, single frequency networks with many small antenna sites within your contour. Again, nice future thought but what about today? Or just post auction once we have new channel assignments, or don't.
The post-auction operating TV band is going to be a crazy place. Those auction eligible stations which pay for their own relo moves get to file for flex-use authority, ie, LTE in the TV band. So I guess ISIX will govern that. And then the 10 DDSA LPTV stations which still have
authority for full flexible use. ISIX does not cover them, yet. Same with LPTV and translators which need a new channel and the duplex gap is available. What then?
If the duplex gap can accommodate full powers, then low powers should be able to operate there also. And what about the unlicensed economy's need for three contiguous channels. Where do they think they are getting them from? Same with TVWS TV white space advocates. It has to come from the more than 7500 LPTV licenses and new permits that are out there, that's where. And herein lies the opportunity in the chaos. Remember the new post-auction mantra of "share, share, share"...