Broadcasters Seek More Time To Study FCC Interference Methodology

Broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, have asked the FCC for more time to comment on potential interference between broadcasters and wireless operators when the FCC repacks the band after the incentive auctions.

The deadline is Feb. 28 to weigh in with the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, but broadcasters have asked that the FCC push that to March 31 "to allow interested parties the time necessary to address the complex engineering and policy issues on which OET seeks comment."

OET is seeking input on how to calculate possible interference, an issue of "critical" importance, the broadcasters say. "The proposed methodology itself is quite complex, and analysis of the methodology and its potential ramifications is computationally intensive," said broadcasters.

They point out that the FCC has scheduled a workshop on the methodology for Feb. 21, only a week before the deadline. "Allowing interested parties sufficient time to consider and analyze information presented during this workshop, and to incorporate that analysis into their comments, will only help ensure a more complete record in this proceeding," said broadcasters.

The FCC frequently grants such extensions, but the FCC is under some pressure to get a spectrum auction item completed given its self-imposed deadline of mid-2015.

In addition to the National Association of Broadcasters, others seeking the extension included the Big Four networks and their affiliate associations, PBS and the Association of Public Television Stations.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.