Alliance wants Allotment Optimization Model released


The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance is calling for the immediate release of the FCC’s AOM (Allotment Optimization Model) that FCC Chair Genachowski said would be released upon authorization to conduct spectrum auctions. That authorization came in the recently signed “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.”

The Alliance, made up of hundreds of full and low power station owners, operators, programmers, equipment vendors and advocates of free television, believes that before any steps are taken to implement the new law, a complete understanding of the spectrum analysis should be made available.

The Alliance echoes the sentiments of NAB’s Dennis Wharton, who says the CTIA’s [The Wireless Association] ambitious deadline for implementation of the spectrum auction and repacking, left out one red letter date: “a deadline for a complete inventory of warehoused spectrum being hoarded by CTIA members.”

CTIA supports the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, which calls for 500 MHz of spectrum to be made available for commercial wireless purposes in the next 10  years.

Others, recently, have commented on the complexity of the implementation. Several have cited that clearing the 1755 to 1780 MHz bands, which are currently reserved for federal agencies will be extremely difficult in the time allotted, and may not even generate the requisite, positive auction revenues demanded by the new law.

The Commission also formed a task force to spearhead the law’s implementation demonstrating the complexity of the matter. With the complexity, the unknowns, the severe impact of the repacking on local television, the Alliance strongly suggests it is time to release the AOM. Says The Alliance’s Executive Director, Irwin Podhajser: “The impact of the new law could drive many local broadcasters out of business. It should not be implemented in haste, and without a complete survey of all available spectrum.”

The Alliance, formerly the Coalition for Free TV and Broadband, is advocating a “Broadcast Overlay Plan” which would meet the growing needs of one-to-many distribution for wireless broadband. That plan along with updates on the Alliance will be part of an event to be held Monday evening, 4/16 at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas.

RBR-TVBR observation: Wireless technology available today does indeed allow sharing of spectrum from different services. The broadcast overlay plan uses high power broadcast facilities to provide wide-reaching coverage for point-to-multipoint services “capable of being converged with point-to-point services provided by other wireless operators.” A broadcast overlay service, says The Alliance, compatible with commercial wireless networks would allow users to consume more data and bring broadcasters new revenue opportunities through new ancillary services.