Sinclair Eyes Broadcast Broadband

Sinclair Broadcast Group says it would be a buyer in the broadcast spectrum incentive auctions if the FCC allows for higher-power wireless licenses it says could be used to deliver advanced wireless services, including broadcast broadband.

The FCC has been getting plenty of input on plans for fitting broadcasters and wireless operators in the 600 MHz band after the incentive auctions. Sinclair is looking to become a dual-purpose broadcaster if the FCC sees it the company’s way.

In an FCC filing, Sinclair said it would be prepared “to bid aggressively on 50 kW TDD [Time Division Duplex] licenses [the higher-powered wireless licenses] divided into economic areas or, similarly, granular geographic sizes, and to deploy new and innovative services that would expand the wireless ecosystem.”

Sinclair engineering guru Mark Aitken says that if the FCC wants a flexible band plan, it should extend that flexibility to making some of the wireless licenses powerful enough to deliver advanced services, rather than simply “wireless unicasting.” Sinclair could buy spectrum at auction and start delivering broadband bits to the entire marketplace, says Aitken.

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.