Washington

FCC Outlines Band Plan Workshop

Says stakeholders will be able to make their case for alternatives 4/23/2013 10:44:42 AM Eastern

The FCC has released more details about a planned May 3
workshop on the band plan for its upcoming incentive auctions.

Broadcasters
and wireless companies have been critical of that plan, so look for both to be
well represented at the workshop.

The FCC describes it as a day-long roundtable discussion
with those stakeholders on how best to achieve the FCC's five goals of
"utility, certainty, interchangeability, quantity and
interoperability."

The FCC says it will evaluate technical tradeoffs in its
plan, alternative band plans (the
National Association of Broadcasters has teamed with wireless folks on one of
those
), and "other proposals" by commenters.

The FCC said the use of guard bands or channel 37 by
licensed or unlicensed transmissions may also come up for discussion.

NAB has said that parts of the FCC's proposed
band plan are unworkable. The FCC's band plan has broadcasters sandwiched
between wireless uplink and downlink spectrum, rather than in separate blocks
separated by a guard band. And as currently constituted, the FCC's plan could
allow broadcasters on, say, channel 48 in one market, and wireless companies on
Ch. 48 in another. "Sharing channels between wireless and high-powered
broadcast doesn't really work from an engineering perspective," NAB says.

March