John Dingell queries FCC on TV spectrum studies


It has come to the attention of House Energy and Commerce emeritus leader John Dingell that the FCC is studying scenarios that may become reality if it is allowed to proceed with plans to conduct incentive auctions to reclaim spectrum in the television plan. Dingell said it would be helpful for members of Congress to also see the studies.

At question is the FCC’s Allotment Optimization Model, or AOM. Dingell said, “…this analysis would be as helpful to Congress as it has been to the Commission in understanding the implications and potential consequences of spectrum reclamation.”

Dingell provided a laundry list of specific concerns:

* How treaties with Canada and Mexico are affected

* Specifics on channel sharing, particularly in the Boston-to-Washington corridor, the Great Lakes border region, San Francisco and Los Angeles, including info on low power stations

* Possible booting of stations from UHF to VHF under repacking scenarios

* Scenarios that aim for less reclaimed spectrum, including info of targets of 90 MHz, 60 MHz and 30 MHz

* Studies on the number of viewers who will lose access to broadcast stations

* Studies on how many viewers will gain access to stations

* Info as to when the FCC will make AOMs available to all stakeholders and the general public

He wants his answers by Monday 6/27/11.

RBR-TVBR observation: Dingell has made no secret of his skepticism about the entire spectrum reclamation proposal. That is good news for television broadcasters, who could hardly ask for a more forceful and tenacious congressional watchdog.