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  • alisonneplokh 2:04 pm on April 25, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: , News,   

    Shake It Off, Taylor Swift’s Spectrum Advice 

    Our Love Story begins in 2009. As part of the National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a bold idea to fix what it foresaw as a looming spectrum crunch for wireless broadband service. The FCC would broker an auction/exchange between television broadcasters and wireless carriers, and shuffle channels around as necessary. In other words, the wireless industry saw broadcast spectrum and said, “You Belong With Me.

    But how much spectrum should be moved from television to mobile broadband? Nobody knew. Wildly optimistic predictions about the demand for mobile spectrum fueled visions of reallocating as much as 144 MHz of spectrum away from television broadcasters. Others, however, wondered if the auction would succeed at all. When it came time for the FCC to change the frequency allocations, there was only one conclusion: put everything on the table. So, in 2015, when the FCC adopted rules for the incentive auction, it put a Blank Space where the number of MHz to be allocated for wireless broadband would go. And, just in case its Wildest Dreams came true, the Wheeler FCC also made a dual allocation (for both TV and wireless broadband) across the entire UHF TV band domestically, and also lobbied for changes to the international table of frequency allocations at the 2015 World Radio Conference.

    In 2017, the incentive auction closed, with 84 MHz being reallocated from television stations to wireless carriers. While the auction was a success, the anemic bidding in late rounds, lower than expected prices per MHz-pop, and unsold spectrum blocks in large markets like Los Angeles and San Diego suggests a complete lack of lingering demand. So, with all of the questions now answered, the FCC said, “Look What You Made Me Do” to the industries and removed the wireless allocation from spectrum at 512-608 MHz, as well as the broadcast allocation from 614 MHz and above.

    Now, in 2018, it is time to go back to the International Telecommunications Union and update the international spectrum tables once again. The market has spoken. Everything has Changed. There is no reason to keep a wireless allocation below 608 MHz. For the wireless companies to keep a claim to something they have no intention to use is pure greed. That spectrum is for broadcasting Forever and Always. This is our End Game.

     
  • Ann Marie Cumming 10:24 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Crisis, , , Hurricane, , , News, Public service,   

    Broadcasters: America’s ‘First Informers’ 

    Every day across America, local radio and television broadcasters serve communities in extraordinary ways: raising millions of dollars for charity, rescuing kidnapped children with AMBER Alerts, and creating awareness about important health and safety issues through public affairs programming.

    Regardless of individual broadcasters’ level of commitment to public service, there is no role stations embrace more seriously than that of “first informer.” Indeed, during times of crisis, no technology can replicate broadcasting’s reliability in reaching mass audiences. It is also during these times when an ethos prevails among broadcasters — an ethos that compels stations to go “the extra mile” for the safety and well-being of viewers and listeners.

    2011 was no exception. The year included devastating tornadoes, a rare East Coast earthquake, wildfires, Hurricane Irene and other severe storms and flooding. Through it all, local radio and television stations were a reliable lifeline, preempting regular programing with news coverage and life-saving information.

    When Hurricane Irene was creating dangerous conditions along the East Coast, local TV and radio combined boots on the ground reporting with social media updates to keep viewers informed on the storm. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recognized this role when he told Americans to turn to their local TV and radio stations for information about the impending storm and to receive important updates from first responders.

    In April, Alabama and Missouri were devastated by the worst tornado outbreak in 40 years. In the span of a few hours, entire neighborhoods were destroyed and hundreds of lives lost. Thousands were left homeless. Radio and television broadcasters were instrumental in saving lives with tornado warnings and emergency and disaster relief information. They also played a critical role in the recovery and rebuilding of communities in the aftermath of the storms.

    These feats of courage, dedication and generosity demonstrated by local broadcasters are captured in this short film produced by talented media arts professor, Scott Hodgson, and his students at the University of Oklahoma, along with Chandra Clark, professor of telecommunications and film at The University of Alabama. Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and Chandra compiled stunning footage for a video account of broadcasters’ response to these horrific tornadoes.

     
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