FCC Outlines Channel-Sharing Workshop

The FCC has released the outline for its May 22 workshop on channel-sharing. It calls it a chance for broadcasters to learn about the financial and strategic "opportunities" of sharing channels after the FCC's reclamation of their spectrum for wireless broadband -- or whoever bids the most for it at auction -- as well as the "operational challenges and potential solutions."

The FCC is required by Congress to try and mitigate those challenges to the greatest extent possible.

For broadcasters who aren't planning to make the trek to Washington, the workshop will be streamed live, using some of that broadband spectrum, and questions can be submitted via email to incentiveauctions@fcc.govor tweeted to #fcclive.

Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake will tee up the issues, followed by a panel discussion featuring John Cunney, head of the telecom media technology practice at Santander and former VP of Patrick Communications; Eric DeSilva, partner, Wiley Rein; John Hane, counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and Lonna Thompson, executive VP and COO of the Association of Public Television Stations.

The FCC last week voted unanimously on a framework for channel sharing, which includes allowing two more stations to share spectrum with the requirement that each deliver at least one standard-definition primary channel serving their community of license, and with each retaining their must-carry rights.

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.