It should tell you something that the industries that are expected to sell and buy spectrum when the incentive auctions take place agree on the way television channels should be repacked, and it should tell you a lot more that they are dismayed the FCC has decided to consider other methodologies.
The companies that will be providing equipment for the project also agree with broadcaster (the potential sellers) and wireless companies (the potential buyers).
AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters and Verizon collaborated on a blog in which they stated their jointly-held views.
The key is the mitigation of interference issues. Without that, values will be driven down and the ultimate success of the auctions compromised.
Experts from all three industries have studied the issue backwares and forwards, they stated. “The result is growing consensus for adoption of a “down from 51” framework that seeks to maximize paired allocations and build guard bands only to meet engineering necessity. This approach reflects the best collective engineering judgment of the companies most affected by the auction, including those that will spend billions of dollars to purchase 600 MHz licenses at auction and billions more to develop and deploy the spectrum in U.S. wireless networks.”
The FCC is now considering two other approaches, which these stakeholders oppose. One, which they note features a “time division duplex,” has no support whatsoever in the record, and the second flies in the face of the consensus approach favored by the stakeholders.
They believe the FCC is angling for market-by-market flexibility, but argue that all the proposals will do is draw attention away from other still-pending issues.
They concluded, “Each of us of course will respond to the notice, but we don’t anticipate any fundamental shift in positions we’ve already taken in the record. In the meantime, we are concerned about the apparent disconnect between the FCC and the various industries that will be critically affected by this auction. Nothing about this auction will be easy, and, if we are to succeed, we must all work together to find solutions best designed to respond to broadcast industry concerns while meeting wireless industry requirements.”