Engineers slam CTIA spectrum grab attempt


NewsThe wireless community is making a play for spectrum between 2025-2110 MHz, currently used by broadcast television for airing live events. The Society of Broadcast Engineers is making the case to the FCC that the proposal is a non-starter.

The BAS, or Broadcast Auxiliary Service spectrum, is a necessary part of a local broadcast television operation, explained SBE President Ralph Hogan in a letter to the FCC.

“CTIA’s proposal would preclude all local news coverage of events in television markets, the reporting of which is critical to the safety of the public and critical to localism in video delivery to viewers,” explained SBE. “CTIA’s proposal would deprive television viewers, regardless of their chosen delivery method (over-the-air broadcast television, cable, fiber or satellite) of the ability to view events as they happen and to respond to them appropriately. It would also preclude virtually all televised sports and major events, which cannot be aired without access to the entire 2025-2110 MHz band in all markets.”

In the letter, Hogan noted that CTIA simply made a naked grab for the band of spectrum without even bothering to cite its current use. “By this skeletal summary, CTIA offers no assessment whatsoever of the impact of its proposed reallocation on television viewers throughout the United States, nor any analysis of alternative allocations. Instead, it merely puts on the table a proposed allocation that might work for CTIA’s members, disregarding the effect on incumbent licensees and the general public.”

Hogan concluded by saying it has no issue with CTIA seeking spectrum. But: “SBE takes strong issue with the reckless method of conducting spectrum allocation studies urged by CTIA. SBE stands ready to provide detailed information (as it has done several times in the past) by making presentations to the Commission detailing the means by which broadcasters, cablecasters and networks make important and very spectrum-efficient use of the 2025-2110 MHz band. This band is a model of spectrum efficiency, cooperation among government and non-government users, and it is literally the worst possible choice for reallocation for mobile broadband use.”