CTIA: FCC Needs Complete Catalog Of Broadcaster Expenses

Wireless companies told the FCC Monday that it should come up with a complete catalog of the broadcaster repacking and relocating expenses it will cover to help mitigate costs and repacking time.

"CTIA believes that producing a complete catalog of eligible expenses will greatly facilitate the repacking process and provide certainty to affected broadcasters," the wireless lobby told the FCC in comments on the repacking reimbursement fund.

That puts them at odds with broadcasters, who want an extensive "illustrative" list, but argue the FCC should not confine itself to that list, but be open to covering other "unique and unforeseeable circumstances" that won't make a list but should still be eligible. "The FCC has already come up with a preliminary list, which the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has already said is incomplete. (http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520955605).

CTIA also said the FCC should survey broadcasters on what existing equipment can still be used, given what it said was broadcasters "limited responses" to date.

And finally, CTIA said that wireless manufacturers whose products use the broadcast band should not be eligible for relocation reimbursement or any relocation rights given that they are secondary users of the band.

That definitely puts them at odds with microphone manufacturer Shure as well as the NAB.

Shure points out that when the FCC reclaimed the 700 MHz band for auction, it told consumers they could use other frequencies, including the ones the FCC is now repacking to reclaim even more spectrum. "The Commission has long recognized the need to reimburse relocated users..." Shure said.

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.