[opendtv] Re: "It can't be done"

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 09:54:38 -0800

JUST DO IT.  I've challenged you on variations of this RF issue for years.


I believe that you can't, and that you don't know anybody who can.  

John Willkie, someone who has actually done RF planning more than a few
times, and in various services regulated by the FCC.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> On Behalf Of Craig Birkmaier
> Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 4:30 AM
> To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [opendtv] Re: "It can't be done"
> John
> Thanks for living up to my premise. There will always be folks, such
> as yourself, who will say "it can't be done."
> The reality is that in all likelihood, there are probably existing
> sites that could be used.
> This nation is literally covered with broadcast transmitter sites.
> These include all of the sticks for full powered TV stations, Class A
> and LPTV stations, and AM and FM radio stations, not to mention
> existing translator sites.
> A properly designed digital broadcast infrastructure can replace ALL
> of these facilities.
> Now before you go off the handle and tell me why it can't be done,
> allow me to field the following premise.
> A long time ago - not quite 100 years - the politicians of their day
> made the decision to create broadcast services that traded use of the
> public airwaves for "broadcasting in the public interest." This was a
> good plan, and has served us well, EXCEPT for one "minor" problem.
> The politicians allowed the broadcasters to create a secondary market
> in spectrum licenses, which has resulted in the creation of billions
> of dollars in "good will," on the books of broadcast companies. This
> valuation is directly related to the value of the licenses in the
> spectrum market, not the actual assets of the companies, in
> particular the transmission facilities.
> As we have seen in recent years, companies are moving rapidly to
> eliminate these "virtual assets" from their books, writing off
> billions in valuation. If left to nature to take it's course,
> broadcasting would survive until we reach equilibrium. That is, when
> the paper assets are all written off, the industry will cease to
> exist in its present form.
> There is a better way out of the valley below the digital cliff. We
> can literally start over. Congress "could" authorize a new digital
> broadcast service that would replace all of the existing analog radio
> and TV broadcast services with a single transmission utility. As part
> of this authorization, all existing transmission assets could be
> transferred to the transmission utility, in return for some form of
> payment:
> This payment could be in the form of a reasonable valuation of the
> transmission facilities, to be paid from proceeds of spectrum
> auctions or operating revenues from the transmission utility. OR it
> could be paid in the form of credits for use of the new transmission
> facilities, giving legacy broadcasters a kind of grandfathering
> clause to guarantee their ability to transition to the new
> infrastructure.
> Whatever the deal that would be brokered, we would wind up with a ton
> of transmission assets around the nation. Some would be highly useful
> in the form they presently exist. Some would be useful with
> modifications, which generally would involve a reduction in antenna
> heights and power levels. And some would simply be decommissioned and
> sold to generate revenues to build out new infrastructure where it is
> needed. There would also be the ability to relocates assets to areas
> where they would be more appropriately used. For example, there are a
> large number of big sticks in and around major urban areas that would
> be replaced with SFN sites on lower towers or buildings. These big
> sticks might be useful in rural areas that are currently underserved,
> and do not have market adjacency issues.
> Bottom line, is that governments can be part of the process, helping
> to determine which sites should continue to be used, which sites
> should be de-commissioned, and where to locate new sites to build out
> the networks. In the end there will be far fewer sites, with lower
> sticks and lower powered emissions. In other words,  everyone
> benefits.
> I'm not saying that it would be easy, but it certainly CAN be done.
> Regards
> Craig
> At 10:18 AM -0800 12/28/06, John Willkie wrote:
> >I'm willing to bet that you, Craig, cannot find a feasible site in Santa
> >Barbara county for a SINGLE new transmitter/antenna combination.
> >
> >My criteria: you getting a letter of intent from a landowner, for a site
> >that serves part of the market, which meets all electrical/interference
> >criteria and land use/RFR criteria of S.B. county and the municipalities
> >therein.  I'm including in the eligibles all current transmit sites and
> any
> >new ones you can find.
> >
> >A single site is just a start of a SFN, but you need to start there,
> unless
> >you are going to "flash-cut" your proposed SFN. (Which you cannot do,
> >because you need to tune it up off-line before putting it into service)
> >
> >Let me give you a bit of perspective.  In the early 1990s, a friend of
> mine
> >named Bob Suffel had a LPTV cp for Santa Barbara.  He couldn't find a
> single
> >site where he could serve a sizeable audience, where he could get a
> letter
> >of intent, and where he could get land use approval from the county or a
> >municipality.
> >
> >You did notice that I said land use/RFR criteria for Santa Barbara
> County?
> >
> >Due to the terrain and the county having a RFR policy, you picked the
> wrong
> >county.
> >
> >Dale -- more knowledgeable about this county than I -- has politely been
> >trying to clue you into this.
> >
> >One can name all sorts of places in the West where it's EXTREMELY
> difficult
> >to put up new stations that will reach sizeable audiences -- Phoenix,
> Yuma
> >and Tucson come to mind instantly -- but Santa Barbara is by far the most
> >difficult due to county land use/RFR policies.  Particular cities within
> >that county are much worse than the unincorporated parts of the county.
> >
> >And, to iterate: this is only the first site that you want to use for
> your
> >SFN.
> >
> >I'm not saying that SFN's cannot be done.  I'm saying you foolishly
> picked
> >the wrong/worst county to try it in.
> >
> >It's hard to find cell towers in S.B. County.  They all have to be
> disguised
> >and have since day one.  All broadcast towers go up on the "scenic"
> hills.
> >
> >John Willkie
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