Last updated: June 21, 2011 - 8:25am
Rep John Dingell (D-MI) wants to know when the Federal Communications Commission will release broadcast engineering models that predict the impact the agency's broadcast spectrum auction plan with have on broadcasting and its viewers.
"[T]his analysis would be helpful to the Congress ... in understanding the implications of spectrum reclamation" as it considers authorizing legislation, Rep Dingell wrote in an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Rep Dingell is skeptical of the plan, by which the FCC proposes to auction off up to 120 MHz of the TV spectrum to wireless broadband providers. The FCC hopes to entice broadcasters to contribute spectrum to the auction by allowing them to share in the proceeds.
In his letter, Rep Dingell asks a series of questions, giving the FCC until June 27 to reply:
- Assuming no stations will be required to move into the low VHF band and no surviving TV stations will lose coverage, what are the general implications of reclaiming 120 MHz for the auction? How many TV stations would have to share a channel or go off the air? (The recover spectrum, the FCC is encouraging stations to either give up their channels or share channels with other stations.)
- How many stations in the Northeast, the Great Lakes region and San Francisco/Los Angeles will have to share or go off the air?
- How many stations would have to be moved to a new channel?
- What are the answers to above question, assuming the FCC reclaims just 90 MHz? 60 MHz? 30MHz?
- For each of the reclamation scenarios, how many TV viewers will lose service and how many channels with they lose?
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