FCC: Spectrum reclaimation plan not happening (for now)

January 14, 2010 by  

fcclogo-2It’s been reported on various sites that the FCC was planning to scoop up unused or old-school broadband spectrum (left over from old over-the-air analog broadcasts that barely exist anymore) and reclaim it for HD usage and other applications. Of course, this would interfere with over-the-air broadcasts if you’re in an area where you have trouble getting a digital signal, so some broadcasters resisted the change.

OK, broadcasters, you win: the spectrum is safe, at least for now. The FCC’s ultimately backed off the plan this week, based on statements published recently.

The director of the FCC stated it was only a proposal, not a set plan, and that they wish to initiate “a scenario that establishes a voluntary marketplace mechanism so that broadcast TV stations have a choice in how they want to use their spectrum.” So stations could choose to let it go or keep it on their own. This could improve the quality of wireless signals and HD picture and channel selection as well, but could lead to fragmentation as some station sell it all off in some areas, and some choose not to.

It’s a big mess, and hopefully they sort it out soon, for the good of HD lovers everywhere.

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