NAB, Wireless Companies Agree On Band Plan 'Core' Principles

Give FCC Guidelines For Post-Auction Home For Broadcasters, Wireless Companies
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A letter was filed with the FCC today (Jan. 24)  from Verizon, AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters and others making some key recommendations and offering a new band plan idea for reorganizing the broadcast/broadband band after the FCC's reverse incentive auctions to reclaim broadcast spectrum for wireless.

The band plan is only one part of the incentive auction process, but an important one for broadcasters who will have to share their former spectrum digs with wireless.

According to a copy of the letter, broadcasters and wireless companies have come to consensus on a "core set of band plan principles" that they wants the FCC to adopt. Those include

Those include:

1."Adopt a contiguous "down from TV 51" approach with uplink at the top;
2.Maximize the amount of paired spectrum above TV 37 (rely on supplemental downlink configurations where spectrum is cleared but pairing options are not viable);
3.Rely upon 5 MHz spectrum blocks as building blocks for the band plan;
4. Incorporate a "duplex gap" or spacing between uplink (mobile transmit) and downlink (base transmit) of a minimum of 10 MHz, but no larger than technically necessary;
5. Avoid broadcast television stations in the duplex gap;
6. Preclude any operations in the duplex gap or guard bands that would result in harmful interference to adjacent licensed services;
7. Provide guard bands that are, consistent with the statute, "no larger than is technically reasonable" to guard against harmful interference between adjacent operations;
8. Provide a guard band between a high power broadcaster and mobile downlink that is sufficient to protect the wireless service from interference, which will likely be larger than the 6 MHz proposed by the FCC;
9. Permit existing operations in TV 37 to remain;
10. Facilitate international harmonization, prioritizing harmonization across North America and move forward expeditiously to coordinate with Canada and Mexico for new broadcast assignments."

The fact that NAB and wireless companies came to some agreement buttresses the assertion by NAB auction point person Rick Kaplan, who told B&C in an interview two weeks ago that NAB was looking to be a uniter not a divider and had been in talks with wireless folks. He said that "if you are all committed to having a successful auction and one that makes sense for can find a solution that maybe works for everybody."

The letter is said to be separate from comments those various parties plan to file at the FCC by Friday, the deadline for initial comments in the FCC's proposed framework for the auctions.

In additon to AT&T, Verizon and NAB, signing on to the letter, which was filed late Thursday, were Qualcomm, T-Mobile and Intel.