The Federal Communications Commission is seeking input from broadcasters and other participants in the National Broadband Plan on how to maximize use of limited broadband spectrum to enable new wireless broadband services.
The FCC Wednesday said it is soliciting data from broadcasters on how much broadcast spectrum they still use after this year’s switch to digital broadcasting. Some of the spectrum relinquished by TV stations is to be repurposed for wireless broadband Internet access. But concerns have been raised that the U.S. will not have enough spectrum to meet the demand and want the Commission to make available more spectrum for commercial use.
The Commission is seeking input in four major areas:
1) A general approach to spectrum availability. How much do broadcasters use? How much spectrum can be repurposed for other uses?
2) Potential approaches to increased spectrum efficiency. Can broadcasters share 6MHz channels without interference? How can MPEG-2 and 8-VSB video technology improve spectrum efficiency?
3) What is the current importance of over-the-air TV broadcasting as it relates to the public interest?
4) Market mechanisms for spectrum contribution. What market-based or incentive-based mechanisms should the FCC use to prompt broadcasters to relinquish spectrum?
The FCC invites comments — referencing NBP Public Notice # 26 and GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, 09-137 — submitted to it by Dec. 21.