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NAB: 'White Space' Vital For Next Gen TV Transition.

The NAB on Tuesday (3/21) filed reply comments with the FCC regarding a further notice of proposed rulemaking on the Next Gen TV transmission standard.

The comments from the broadcast media industry's biggest voice in Washington respond to the arguments set forth by Microsoft and others concerning broadcaster use of vacant in-band channels to smooth the transition.

"We stress that allowing broadcasters to use vacant channels, where available, could be an important step to minimize disruption," the NAB asserts.

In its 14-page reply comments, NAB EVP/Legal and Regulatory Affairs Rick Kaplan writes, "Encouraging stations to use vacant in-band channels,where available, is one of the most productive steps the Commission and broadcasters cantake to minimize the potential for consumer disruption and help speed the transition."

But, the NAB objects to "new allowances for heretofore unproven Television White Spaces operations."

In fact, Kaplan argues, " Elevating consideration of unlicensed, opportunistic operations in theband over primary licensed users would turn the very concept of Part 15 unlicensed

operations on its head and represent a betrayal of commitments the Commission made whenit originally authorized unlicensed operations in the television band."

Further, Kaplan says the move would stifle broadcasterinnovation in the only band available to television, while the Commission continues to makeunlicensed spectrum available in numerous other bands.

The NAB also used its reply comments to reply to comments filed by the NCTA -- The Internet & Television Associationand American Television Alliance (ATVA) concerning the standard for waivers of the FCC's simulcasting requirement.

It is the NAB's argument that the waiver standard cannot be so high that broadcasters in some markets are shut out of the transition if they cannot find simulcasting partners.

"The Commission should adopt a flexible standard for waivers of thesimulcasting requirement that will ensure that broadcasters in a variety of markets -- particularly small and rural markets -- have an opportunity to innovate and improve the service they offer to the public," the NAB asserts. "An inflexible standard runs the risk of limiting innovations for over-the-air viewers while pay-TV providers continue to charge consumers for the improved

features they desperately want to prevent broadcasters from offering for free."

MORE ABOUT 'WHITE SPACE' FROM THE RBR+TVBR ARCHIVES:

Here's A Suggestion For Microsoft That Goes Beyond 'White Space'

Adam Jacobson

Much has been said, and criticized, aboutMicrosoftPresidentBrad Smith's goal of bringing broadband connectivity to rural America via the use of free "white space" — that buffer zone on the spectrum that is found between broadcast TV stations. TheAdvanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA) commends Smith's goal of broadband to all of rural America in the next five years. But, the way Microsoft seeks to do it is flawed, ATBA argues, and it has a better solution.

NAB Steps Up Its White Space Fight Against Microsoft

Adam Jacobson

Last weekRBR+TVBRreported on a proposal from computing giantMicrosoftto use TV white space to provide wireless broadband services in rural areas. Specifically,Microsoft wants the FCC to reserve a vacant UHF white space channel in every market nationwide, following the post-auction repack of broadcast television stations. TheNABis less than thrilled, and issued a statement on the matter Tuesday. We also have some thoughts on the matter, via a RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION.

NAB, Microsoft At Loggerheads Over "White Space"

RBR-TVBR

Yesterday we reported on the effect that the TV repack will have on potentially hundreds of radio stations. Now, it seems, Microsoft has stuck its foot in the repack door, not endearing itself to the folks at the NAB in the process. Microsoft wants the FCC to reserve a vacant UHF white space channel in every market nationwide.

TV 'White Space' Preservation Sought By Microsoft

Adam Jacobson

Three very different entities have united to maintain a portion of unlicensed television spectrum in every U.S. market

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Publication:Radio and Television Business Report (RBR+TVBR)
Date:Mar 21, 2018
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