NAB Seeks International Recognition of Broadcast Band

The National Association of Broadcasters wants to make sure the world knows which spectrum remains in the hands of broadcasters following the incentive auction and TV station repack.

While it says the FCC has modified the domestic table of allocations to reflect the fact that channels 14-36 remain in broadcaster hands and unavailable for other services after the incentive auction, NAB says the International Bureau has not made it explicitly clear that it will recommend the International Telecommunications Union make the same changes to its allocations table.

Under FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, NAB says, the ITU table reflected that the entire UHF band was up for potential use by mobile broadband, which NAB says was because at the time it was unclear how much of the band broadcaster would give up in the auction.

Now that it is clear, broadcasters say, ITU needs to change that. NAB points out that both Canada and Mexico, which were signatories to that original UHF designation, have also said that channels 14-36 won't be used for mobile.

Specifically, NAB is asking the FCC to withdraw from a footnote on UHF spectrum in the ITU sepctrum table dating from the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) back in November 2015. 

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.