[opendtv] Re: Did I get this one right?

As wireless mics seem to be important to broadcasters, it would seem logical to assign several white space frequencies for their unlicensed use.


How many frequencies are used by these mics today? Obviously they must be reasonably agile as the available frequencies change from market to market.

We are talking about a huge chunk of spectrum from VHF through 600 MHz. There is plenty of room there to create multiple licensed and unlicensed services.

Then again, there is enough room there for the broadcasters to use this spectrum efficiently to develop a competitive multi-channel service similar to Freeview, but with the ability to serve individual markets as well.

Personally, I would prefer to see the spectrum assigned to broadcasters USED by broadcasters to develop a multichannel service with a free tier similar to Freeview) and the ability to deliver premium subscription services as well. At the same time we could shutter the FCC and get rid of ALL legislated and regulatory protections associated with the use of this spectrum.

I would do this by setting up regional broadcast spectrum utilities as I have discussed before. The content moguls would pay prevailing market rates for bits, and hopefully they would do the same on cable and DBS, choosing either to offer commercial free subscription channels for which subscribers would pay, or advertiser supported channels for which they would pay for carriage.

Regards
Craig


At 9:29 AM -0400 10/18/07, Hunold, Ken wrote:
How many people on this list think that there are "unused" portions of
the broadcast spectrum?  John Wilke pointed out earlier that wireless
microphone users are just one group that shares this spectrum.  I've
heard it said (and have no reason to doubt) that there are about 1000
channels of wireless microphones within a mile or two of the Empire
State Building, clustered more or less around a wide street called
Broadway. Those users are very creative, and are very much good
neighbors to the other users of that spectrum.  Any major sporting event
or entertainment event always has dozens of channels of RF in use.
While they are not broadcasters in the traditional sense, these
operators often provide live programming to broadcasters, so they are
very much "brothers in arms" in this fight.

There is a very real threat from unlicensed devices to these users of
the spectrum.  Their lives haven't been made any easier by the
allocation of two channels to each broadcaster for the duration of the
DTV transition, but at least they know where the broadcasters and the
neighboring theatres are.  You don't have to think too long to come up
with a circumstance where some "broadband device" would be turned on and
how it could be legitimately considered "interference," not
"competition."

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Craig Birkmaier
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 8:36 AM
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [opendtv] Re: Did I get this one right?

At 9:53 PM -0400 10/17/07, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Might seem incestuous, but if the white spaces are administered
intelligently, I think the scheme will work fine. Broadcasters, or
ISPs, would not let their transmissions interfere with legitimate other

users of the spectrum.

Based on the responses to this thread. one fact seems apparent:

The white spaces have significant potential for the delivery of new
services that might be used by a significantly larger portion of the
population that DTV.

One must look at this situation from two related perspectives:

1. Protection of existing users/services is very important; as with any
proposal to share spectrum, the key issue will be how much interference
can be tolerated. This is the most difficult issue to resolve, as there
is plenty of room for FUD here. At the moment, broadcasters are using
their considerable clout to cast doubts on the ability of unlicensed
devices to operate in this spectrum, without interference with DTV.

2. licensing is a viable method to control the alternative uses of this
spectrum, but it also opens up a can of worms related to the value of
the spectrum that is being shared. If licensing is essentially free, as
is the case with DTV, then the main costs will be license fees and the
lawyers who will swarm around the opportunity to insert themselves into
the process. On the other hand, if there are significant user fees
associated with the licenses, then the use of this spectrum by
alternative services becomes another form of indirect taxation.

Current incumbents, both the broadcasters using the TV spectrum and the
companies that provide broadband services today (primarily cable and
telco) would like any alternative use of the spectrum to be regulated
and presumably encumbered with user fees so as to make these alternative
uses less competitive with existing products/services. One might even
make a case for broadcasters to develop broadband services in this
spectrum, which would give them a back channel comparable to what cable
and IPTV systems can offer. But this is essentially a valuable new
franchise, not an extension of the existing TV franchise, so it would
seem appropriate for any licensed alternative use of the white spaces to
include use fees.

On the other hand, history demonstrates that the allocation of spectrum
for unlicensed uses can stimulate not only widespread use of the
unlicensed spectrum, but significant new markets for the devices that
use this spectrum. One need only look at the success of wireless phones
(for attachment to land lines) and WiFi.

So, as usual, the real debate here is about protection - not from
interference, but from potential competition. The regulated incumbents
are once again exerting their influence with the politicians and
regulators to encumber a public resource with regulations (and perhaps
user fees), to prevent marketplace competition.

I would prefer to see a different discussion: How can broadcasters
re-invent their business and use all of their assigned spectrum
efficiently to compete effectively with cable and DBS, rather than using
regulation to generate revenues from competitors, while the DTV spectrum
lies (mostly) fallow.

Regards
Craig


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