Telecom headlings

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 08:47:59 -0700 (PDT)

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HEY, GIVE BACK THOSE AIRWAVES- OR PAY UP
Issue: Spectrum
[Op-Ed] On September 17th of this year, the FCC announced a major change in
policy. But don't be surprised that you didn't read about it - in light of
other events the news went basically unreported. The FCC policy change
allows 21 broadcast companies to sell off a slice of the public spectrum and
keep the profits that would typically go into the U.S. Treasury. Further The
policy change would allow any of these broadcasters to negotiate its own
deal directly with a purchasing wireless company, dispensing with the FCC's
usual intermediary role. The FCC describes their actions as an incentive for
broadcasters to vacate the spectrum they were handed free of charge 5 years
ago, to make room for the wireless industry which might make better use of
the public's resource. At the time legislators believed that the extra
spectrum was really of no consequence to the broadcasters as it was a) on
loan and b) to be given back after the transition to Digital television.
Digital television however, has taken longer than anticipated to become
reality. Meanwhile, the wireless industry needs more spectrum. And spectrum,
recognized for its scarcity is worth billions of dollars. In light of the
new conditions, the broadcast companies have been lobbying the FCC under the
name of the Spectrum Clearing Alliance to allow them to negotiate their own
deals with the wireless companies. The Sept. 17th change will allow just
that. Congress needs to act to prevent the broadcast industry from rewarding
itself -on the public's dime- for its inaction.
[SOURCE: Washington Post (B01) 10/14/01, AUTHOR: Norman Ornstein & Michael
Calabrese]
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/)
FCC CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES DIGITAL TELEVISION TASK FORCE
Issue: DTV
FCC Chairman Michael Powell today announced the creation of an FCC Digital
Television (DTV) Task Force to review the ongoing transition to DTV, and to
make recommendations to the Commission concerning priorities to facilitate
the transition and promote the rapid recovery of broadcast spectrum for
other uses. Powell said, "The DTV transition is a massive and complex
undertaking. Although I'm often asked what the FCC is going to do to 'fix'
the DTV transition, I believe that a big part of the problem were the
unrealistic expectations set by the 2006 target date for return of the
analog spectrum. This Task Force will help us re-examine the assumptions on
which the Commission based its DTV policies, and give us the ability to
react and make necessary adjustments."
[SOURCE: FCC]
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/News_Releases/2001/nrmm0110.html)
FCC CLARIFIES RULES FOR NONCOMMERCIAL TELEVISION STATIONS' USE OF DIGITAL
TELEVISION CHANNEL CAPACITY
Issue: DTV
The FCC ruled today that Noncommercial Educational (NCE) Television
licensees are required to use their entire digital television (DTV)
bitstream capacity primarily for nonprofit, noncommercial, educational
broadcast services. In a Report and Order issued today, the FCC also ruled
that the statutory prohibition against broadcasting of advertising on (NCE)
television stations applies only to broadcast programming streams provided
by NCE licensees, but does not apply to any ancillary or supplementary
services presented on their excess DTV channels that do not constitute
broadcasting. The Commission further ruled that NCE licensees must pay a fee
of five percent of gross revenues generated by ancillary or supplementary
services provided on their DTV service.[SOURCE: FCC]
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/News_Releases/2001/nrmm0111.html)

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

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HEY, GIVE BACK THOSE AIRWAVES- OR PAY UP
Issue: Spectrum
[Op-Ed] On September 17th of this year, the FCC announced a major change in
policy. But don't be surprised that you didn't read about it - in light of
other events the news went basically unreported. The FCC policy change
allows 21 broadcast companies to sell off a slice of the public spectrum and
keep the profits that would typically go into the U.S. Treasury. Further The
policy change would allow any of these broadcasters to negotiate its own
deal directly with a purchasing wireless company, dispensing with the FCC's
usual intermediary role. The FCC describes their actions as an incentive for
broadcasters to vacate the spectrum they were handed free of charge 5 years
ago, to make room for the wireless industry which might make better use of
the public's resource. At the time legislators believed that the extra
spectrum was really of no consequence to the broadcasters as it was a) on
loan and b) to be given back after the transition to Digital television.
Digital television however, has taken longer than anticipated to become
reality. Meanwhile, the wireless industry needs more spectrum. And spectrum,
recognized for its scarcity is worth billions of dollars. In light of the
new conditions, the broadcast companies have been lobbying the FCC under the
name of the Spectrum Clearing Alliance to allow them to negotiate their own
deals with the wireless companies. The Sept. 17th change will allow just
that. Congress needs to act to prevent the broadcast industry from rewarding
itself -on the public's dime- for its inaction.
[SOURCE: Washington Post (B01) 10/14/01, AUTHOR: Norman Ornstein & Michael
Calabrese]
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/)
FCC CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES DIGITAL TELEVISION TASK FORCE
Issue: DTV
FCC Chairman Michael Powell today announced the creation of an FCC Digital
Television (DTV) Task Force to review the ongoing transition to DTV, and to
make recommendations to the Commission concerning priorities to facilitate
the transition and promote the rapid recovery of broadcast spectrum for
other uses. Powell said, "The DTV transition is a massive and complex
undertaking. Although I'm often asked what the FCC is going to do to 'fix'
the DTV transition, I believe that a big part of the problem were the
unrealistic expectations set by the 2006 target date for return of the
analog spectrum. This Task Force will help us re-examine the assumptions on
which the Commission based its DTV policies, and give us the ability to
react and make necessary adjustments."
[SOURCE: FCC]
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/News_Releases/2001/nrmm0110.html)
FCC CLARIFIES RULES FOR NONCOMMERCIAL TELEVISION STATIONS' USE OF DIGITAL
TELEVISION CHANNEL CAPACITY
Issue: DTV
The FCC ruled today that Noncommercial Educational (NCE) Television
licensees are required to use their entire digital television (DTV)
bitstream capacity primarily for nonprofit, noncommercial, educational
broadcast services. In a Report and Order issued today, the FCC also ruled
that the statutory prohibition against broadcasting of advertising on (NCE)
television stations applies only to broadcast programming streams provided
by NCE licensees, but does not apply to any ancillary or supplementary
services presented on their excess DTV channels that do not constitute
broadcasting. The Commission further ruled that NCE licensees must pay a fee
of five percent of gross revenues generated by ancillary or supplementary
services provided on their DTV service.[SOURCE: FCC]
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/News_Releases/2001/nrmm0111.html)



Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

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