Most US TV stations are in the process of altering their broadcast spectrum licenses, resulting in channel changes, shared tech, and, in some cases, buyouts

Featured Article

2018.07.12, Thursday

Pai Outlines Diversity Incubator Program

[Source: Multichannel News]

The FCC is proposing the framework for an incubator program to help diversify broadcast ownership and will seek comment on how to reimburse low power TV’s and translators for their spectrum repack expenses with the money Congress recently set aside for that purpose.

That is according to the tentative agenda for the FCC’s Aug. 2 open meeting outlined by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Also on the agenda is finalizing rules for the auction of 28 GHz band spectrum, the FCC’s first high-band auction for new 5G spectrum, and an order adopting a “one-touch make ready” policy the FCC hopes will speed deployment by allowing a single crew to prepare poles for attachments. That item, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, will also make it clear that localities cannot impose moratoria on network buildouts.

Finally, the meeting will include a notice of inquiry into launching a telehealth pilot program within the Universal Service Fund that subsidizes communications services to low-income and hard-to-reach areas.

The FCC created the incubator program as part of its periodic review of media ownership rules.

“This program is one that the FCC envisioned last year to encourage the entry of new and diverse voices into the broadcast industry,” blogged Pai. “If adopted, my plan will enable the pairing of small aspiring, or struggling, broadcast station owners with established broadcasters who will provide assistance with training, finances, mentoring, and industry connections. And at the end of the incubation period, the incubated entity will have the right to purchase the incubating entity’s interest in the incubated station. The end result? The incubator program would lead to greater diversity and competition in the broadcast industry.”

The FCC’s November local ownership deregulation vote stemmed from a re-review of the ownership regs tied to a court mandate to include in any regulatory or deregulatory decision its impact on media ownership diversity. The incubator program was responsive to that mandate.

The FCC didn’t actually vote to create the incubator program back in November, but instead voted on a notice of proposed rulemaking to seek input on how to create it. Pai said that was because there were still issues to address, like how to design and implement it, what the eligibility criteria should be and how such a program will be reviewed, monitored and enforced, as well as its costs and benefits.

Recent News from Around the Web

NJ takes chance on unique effort to boost local news

[Source: Current] …Media reform advocates who built support for the [proposed consortium and solutions] sought $100 million in spectrum auction revenues last year. That proposal didn’t gain traction, so they worked with legislators on a ...

FCC taking comments on Sprint, T-Mobile US merger

[Source: RCR Wireless News] …Collaboration on construction of a nationwide 5G network has been a major talking point from corporate executives at both firms. The two carriers have complementary spectrum holdings in the low-band (T-Mo’s 600 ...

Shure Wireless Provides Audio for the 72nd Annual Tony Awards

[Source: Sports Video Group] “…In the aftermath of the FCC auction, it’s important to adjust to having less UHF real estate available, so I’ve been coordinating for the post-600 megahertz world on all my shows this year,” [RF coordinator ...

The Continuously Changing Landscape of Wireless Microphones

[Source: The Broadcast Bridge] …Congress authorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use incentive auctions as a means to free up spectrum in the 600 MHz band for wireless broadband use. Bidding in the broadcast television ...

LG Stylo 4 & Samsung Galaxy J7 Star Launch At T-Mobile

[Source: NewsDog] …Both of these are mid-range smartphones, but they also support T-Mobile’s 600MHz spectrum, which it is working to quickly roll out across the country right now. So it’s good to see more options coming to its network that ...

IEEE 5G World Forum: T-Mobile says 5G is AWESOME

[Source: Converge! Network Digest] …T-Mobile’s 5G commercial rollout begins this year in 30 cities and will be fully nationwide within 2.5 years… using both 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum. Previously, Nokia confirmed ...

Cable Undergoing Extensive Wireless Transformation

[Source: Light Reading] …Comcast in 2017 paid $1.7 billion for channels in the 600MHz band and has yet to reveal what it will do with the spectrum. (See Comcast, Charter Hint at New MVNO Deals.) While to some observers these efforts may ...

Pai Outlines Diversity Incubator Program

[Source: Multichannel News] The FCC is proposing the framework for an incubator program to help diversify broadcast ownership and will seek comment on how to reimburse low power TV’s and translators for their spectrum repack expenses with ...

Local TV stations are changing frequencies

[Source: PhillyVoice] On Thursday, July 19 and Monday, July 23 three local television channels are moving to different frequencies. This includes WLVT-TV, WFMZ-TV, and WTVE. The frequency adjustment is coming from the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive ...

First 5G-Specific US Spectrum Auctions Coming November

[Source: Light Reading] …the scale and scope of these planned high-band auctions appear to promise to open up the largest tranche of spectrum for wireless broadband yet seen in the US… This would be an embarrassment of radio riches ...