Reclaiming broadcast spectrum for use by wireless broadband companies has been a signature issue for FCC Chairman Genachowski.
"Inclusion of incentive auctions designed by the FCC is another positive feature, especially because it will provide funding to compensate cable operators for all costs associated with carrying TV stations that share spectrum or are repacked. ACA is also pleased the Senate bill will not expand TV station must carry rights on cable systems beyond what's provided in current law," Polka said.
According to published reports, the bill (S. 911) would compensate broadcasters that retain their spectrum but need to be repacked to make larger, contiguous swaths of vacated spectrum available for wireless broadband. It would also compensate cable operators for any adjustments they have to make to their retransmissions of the reconfigured broadcasters.
The bill is intended to create an interoperable broadband network for first responders, which would be funded from the proceeds of auctioned broadcast spectrum. It would give first responders a slice of the airwaves - the so-called D Block -- that the FCC failed to auction commercially in 2008 because the reserve price was not met.
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