FCC Holds Line in Band-Clearing Rules


Rules allowing TV stations on channels 51-69 to strike voluntary band clearing agreements with wireless operators and other new users will remain as they are, the FCC told broadcasters Monday.

The agency rejected requests by the Association for Maximum Service Television and the National Association of Broadcasters to prohibit band clearing deals if the new user’s service creates interference. Even interference that could have been mitigated by avoidance techniques such as directional antennas, power reductions or antenna height adjustments fell under the broadcast groups’ request.

The FCC also rejected the groups’ call not to extend the more lenient band clearing rules for Channels 51-58 to Channels 51-59. Finally, the commission said no to a request for an explicit ban on mandatory band clearing on Channels 59-69.

The FCC said the groups’ fears of forced evacuation from the band were "overstated."