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Bob Cole
wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Mar 31, 2013 at 2:28:19 am

A story in the NY Times gave me some concern. The FCC is considering whether it should auction a part of the spectrum which is now used by unlicensed wireless users. I'd appreciate someone who knows more about it telling me whether this is important to our community.

http://tinyurl.com/c6owl7h

Thanks.

Bob C


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Richard Crowley
Re: wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Apr 1, 2013 at 1:05:40 am

It would have been nice if they had mentioned any details that would have allowed fact-checking. Of course, there is no mention of this on the FCC website. Perhaps someone more credible than the NYT will report on this.


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Ty Ford
Re: wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Apr 1, 2013 at 1:17:21 am

Bob,

I've been smelling that breeze for a while now, but don't have any facts. An easy NYC-centric story to write and fill space with.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Bob Cole
Re: wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Apr 1, 2013 at 1:59:08 pm

What I take away from the piece is:

1. the spectrum is valuable, especially as more and more wireless devices are created and sold;
2. there are some very powerful forces (cell phone companies, etc.) out there, scrapping for every slice of it they can get;
3. the frequencies that we think we should be able to use "for free" may be up for sale some day;
4. the government is looking under the mattress for pennies;
5. if Broadway is scared, so should we be. In the face of the big buyers of spectrum, our community is disorganized and relatively powerless.

The 700 MHz range is gone; the FCC is now targeting the 600 to 700 range, and the beat goes on.

The article you're looking for is here: http://www.bna.com/unlicensed-spectrum-repacking-n17179872082/


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Ty Ford
Re: wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Apr 1, 2013 at 2:34:07 pm

Hello Bob,

Yep, that's the way I see it.

This is a revisitation of the nightmare I saw when the FCC first said they were going to auction off the 700MHz band because their researched showed *no one was using it. By No One they meant they had no filed registrations by users.

There was this panel at NAB one year that was to air this out. I was not on the panel but I was in the audience as a user and as a journalist. There was a member of the FCC on the panel and some of the wireless mfgrs. and/or distributors, as I recall.

I challenged the FCC guy by saying that if he simply took a look at the unit sales for wireless mics from the mfgrs in the room, it would be obvious to him that there were many times more professional users out there working everyday that the skimpy list of radio and TV stations who comprised most of his list. I reached out to him sometime later by phone only to hear he was retiring and wouldn't have to worry about the problem. (not that I thought he was worried about it then.)

He was like so many crushed and eviscerated federal employees doing their jobs, keeping their heads down, and praying for early (and full) retirement.

You could say (and some did) that because the industry is comprised of competing mfgr companies whose job it is to outsell the others, that forming an aligned committee to front in a way that the FCC would ::sigh:: have to recognize might work, and some have tried that. Looks like the FCC are deaf to the pleas. It will probably take a more powerful organization to get their proper attention.

I'm thinking maybe kick it upstairs to the various film academies to send some big name actors to congress (Sorry, I know congress should be capitalized, but I don't think they deserve it. I live in Baltimore and the smell from down south when the wind blows up this way from DC is never pleasant.)

Said actors would titillate the committee and there would be a big deal about how having spectrum for their work is essential. Back room deals about which actor would step out in favor of this or that politician or his/her legislation would occur and we'd get us some spectrum.....maybe.

Mfgrs will, as they have before, wait for the new terrain before deciding what to do. It wasn't THAT long ago that wireless mics were fixed frequency. Now, because of this very issue, they are spread spectrum. Mfgrs need to roll with the punches in order to manufacture and sell gear so they stay in business, but there's no need or reason to offer solutions when even the near term fate is uncertain.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em! Please feel free to circulate this to anyone.

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

PS: I find it only slightly amusing that I'm making this statement on April 1st

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Richard Crowley
Re: wireless frequencies to be sold?
on Apr 2, 2013 at 11:25:12 am

It appears that ATT (and likely other carriers) and our beneficient US Federal Government are cooking up ever new ways of collecting billions of $$$ to try to stem that sinking ship of the Federal Budget.

They are devising new schemes to hold "Incentive Auctions" where they sell off currently in-use bandwidth to the highest bidder and then evict the residents, hand them some cash and tell them to go away and find "new spectrum" somewhere else (as if it existed).

http://www.fcc.gov/topic/incentive-auctions
http://attpublicpolicy.com/wireless/opportunity-in-the-600-mhz-band/

Sorry, but it becomes increasingly difficult trying to imagine that Common Sense is still to be found anywhere inside The Beltway. It appears that the Long-Term Evolution calls for the complete elimination of free OTA (over the air) television as we know it.


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