[opendtv] Re: News: FCC Sets Schedule for Next Round of White Space Tests

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 12:25:12 -0500

At 10:42 AM -0500 1/22/08, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
In Europe, not only would competitors equally pay billions to make
walled gardens out of the publically-owned broadcast spectrum, but govts
pay for the OTA TV infrastructure. That's how the dense nets become
affordable. Pretending that even more dense nets should be viable here
just doesn't make any sense. Especially true if broadcasters prefer
people to get hooked on umbillical systems.

I'm not pretending, just stating the facts. The broadcasters COULD use their spectrum to compete, but they choose to keep the Free OTA supply of content very limited so that people will subscribe to the multi-channel services where they can make even more money.

So, convince me that it makes sense to effectively cut the TV spectrum
to even less than it has been reduced already.

What is being cut? Every full power broadcasters will still have 6 MHz of spectrum and the assurance that there will be little if any interference with their signals. Every Class A Low Power station will get a digital channel, and every LPTV broadcasters will get a new channel for digital or the ability to flash cut to digital on their existing channel.

What is being cut is the absurd waste of spectrum by the broadcasters due to the highly inefficient way in which they use it.

And one thing you forgot to add: they charge you through the nose to use
it. Once again, there is a certain amount of logic to the notion that in
a democracy, people need to be informed. That's the reason why govts all
over the West (at least) support the idea of FOTA TV and radio.
OBVIOUSLY, businesses would prefer to grab that spectrum for their own
use. Just as obviously, "we the people" don't need to become blinded by
the private interests of businesses to the point of ignoring all the
rest. For the time being, FOTA TV exists, in spite of continuing efforts
to undermine it.

Yes, the telecommunications industry is one of the most efficient tax collectors for the politicians, probably even a bigger that the tobacco companies. One could make a strong argument in favor of the government making the spectrum for wireless communications available for free, based on the positive impact this would have on the economy. Don't hold your breath.

The only efforts to undermine FOTA are coming from the media conglomerates that provide the content. Remember, when FOTA broadcasting began in the U.S., the networks paid the stations to carry their programs. Now the stations are paying the networks. The networks could care less about the public service role of local broadcasters, but the politicians still take advantage of the local market approach to broadcasting in the U.S. And both the networks and the local stations have helped the politicians immensely over the past five decades to take this republic down the path to Socialism. But I digress...

Perfect example of being blinded by the private interests of businesses.
I'd be so peeved at that sort of cozy arrangement that I'd make it a
point NOT to subscribe to cable or DBS. And I'd be writing letters to
whoever elected officials are letting this go on.

When i moved to Gainesville in 1976 we had two stations, ABC and PBS. The ABC station was losing money. The cable companies had to go to other markets to bring in the other networks. CBS came via microwave from Jacksonville, NBC came via microwave from Orlando. By the Mid '80s the ABC affiliate started making a good profit, in large part because they had no competition for local news - they still don't, as the CBS affiliate runs news from a Jacksonville station and the Fox affiliate runs news from their sister station in Orlando.

And several groups have tried to get NBC into Gainesville. NBC says no way.


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