The FCC’s 2010 National Broadband Plan calls for freeing more spectrum for wireless broadband use by using less spectrum for broadcast television. Spectrum can be freed up by reorganizing the channels to which TV broadcasters are assigned. In some more densely populated areas, such as large cities, the U.S. government will buy some or all spectrum rights that television stations are willing to sell. The FCC is holding an auction to buy spectrum rights and encouraging television licensees to sell their spectrum so it can be used by wireless carriers.
In many areas, the FCC will not purchase any broadcast spectrum. Since this will be a reverse auction, all of the figures being reported are maximum initial bids that are expected to fall significantly during the auction process. We know the auction will be competitive in nature. Receiving auction proceeds is not guaranteed to any station.
Stations are licensed to broadcast on a 6 MHz channel of spectrum. Each station can submit a bid to (1) give up its current channel but remain on the air by moving to a different channel on lower frequency spectrum, (2) give up its current channel and share a channel with another television station in the same market, or (3) give up its channel and go off the air. Viewers will be able to tune into lower-frequency or shared channels the same way they currently tune into channels today.
After considering these options, Pioneer has determined that they do not apply Pioneer's KWCM. KWCM operates on channel 10. This is already a low channel, meaning there is not much room to move to a lower channel. Several of the lower channels are already used in the region, and full-power stations within 150 miles generally cannot use the same or adjacent channel. The lowest channels (2-6) also have more signal interference problems. Because there are no other television transmitters near the KWCM tower location, it is difficult to imagine how KWCM could share channels with another station and still serve the same viewing area. If Pioneer’s KWCM used the third option, the station would be going off the air.
For more information on the Spectrum auction we direct you to watch these three videos:
What When and Why It Matters: https://vimeo.com/147865018
A Video Explaining the Repacking of Channels: https://vimeo.com/146025448
Reverse Auction In Depth: https://vimeo.com/144913432
For more information, contact Patrick Moore, Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Pioneer Public Television
Pioneer Public TV is an award winning, viewer supported television station serving western and southwestern Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northwestern Iowa. For more information, visit www.pioneer.org or call 1-800-726-3178.