FCC Releases NPRM Addressing Vacant Channels for White Space Devices

Last week the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking tentatively concluding that it will preserve at least one vacant UHF television channel in each area of the United States, for use by white space devices and wireless microphones, following the Incentive Auction.

This NPRM seeks comment on the procedures for ensuring that one channel remains available, asking what should be required of affected LPTV, TV Translator, and BAS applicants to protect such a channel.  Specifically, the FCC tentatively concludes that these applicants be required to submit a demonstration that their proposed new/modified facility will not eliminate the last available vacant channel.

The FCC seeks further comment on:

  • which broadcast applicants proposing operations in the repacked UHF television band should be required to make the above-referenced required demonstration; and
  • the procedures for identifying which channels and which specific areas the FCC should use to ensure the availability of at least one vacant channel.

The proposals in the NPRM would apply following the incentive auction, and “none of the proposals will act as a constraint in the repacking process or limit the spectrum that is made available in the forward auction.”

Comments will be due 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments will be due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

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