FCC To Preserve One UHF Channel


The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish procedures to ensure that one UHF channel will be available nationwide for unlicensed white space devices and wireless microphones following the upcoming incentive auction and channel repacking process.  The NPRM proposes that the reserved channel will be in the range of UHF channel 21 and above.  Although the FCC believes that its channel packing process will leave one  channel free in virtually all parts of the country, this does not mean that the same channel will be uniformly reserved in all areas, and the specific vacant channel will likely vary depending on the particular area.  The Commission has tentatively concluded that broadcast applicants proposing operations in the repacked UHF television band should be required to make a demonstration that their proposed new, displacement, or modified facility will not eliminate the last available vacant UHF channel in an area for use by white space devices and wireless microphones. The Commission proposes different time frames for when this showing will be required with respect to applications filed for low power and translator stations, Class A television stations and full power television stations. The NPRM seeks comment on the Commission’s tentative conclusions and proposals.

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