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FCC Wont Force TV Broadcasters To Relinquish Airwaves

The FCC won’t force TV broadcasters to hand over their airwaves to free up spectrum for broadband.

In fact, the agency was never seriously considering such a possibility, according to an interview in Broadcasting&Cable. Phil Bellaria, director of scenario planning for the FCC’s national broadband team, told B&C the FCC would not require broadcasters to sell their spectrum or give up the ability to transmit in HD, multicast or mobile.

“The reality is that we are not trying to take spectrum from any individual broadcaster unless that broadcaster chooses to do it,” Bellaria said.

And yet, Blair Levin, the man in charge of crafting the FCC’s national broadband plan, suggested to the Wall Street Journal that reclaiming some airwaves for auction could be an option.

“The record is very clear that we’re facing a looming spectrum gap,” he told the Journal.

The FCC was slated to unveil its national broadband plan to Congress next month, but has asked for a four-week extension on that deadline.

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