FCC to Issue Spectrum Comment Request

Spokesman confirms commission will issue public notice "soon"
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An FCC spokesman confirms that the commission will be
issuing a public notice on spectrum "soon."

While the spokesperson would not comment on specifics of the
request for comment, a source says it essentially covers much of the same
territory broadband advisor Blair Levin covered in conversations with
broadcasters, the wireless industry and Wall Street about how to reclaim
spectrum, including broadcast spectrum, for wireless use.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski continues the drumbeat for
more spectrum for wireless, making the point again Dec.
1 in an interview on CNBC
.

According to sources familiar with the conversations, Levin
has talked with broadcasters about a number of possibilities, including
aggregating channels on less spectrum, where they could deliver a
standard-definition signal over-the-air but an HD signal over cable or
satellite.

But broadcasters have been very public in their pushback,
saying they need over-the-air HD and their full complement of spectrum to give
viewers the signal they demand and deserve, as well as to deliver mobile TV and
multicast channels. They
have also argued that the spectrum is crucial to getting full value for their
signals in retransmission consent negotiations
.

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch told a Federal Trade
Commission workshop audience Dec. 1 that mobile was a big part of his TV
stations' digital plans
, as well as possibly being a delivery mechanism for
newspaper content.

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