FCC Rejects Request by Low Power Television Broadcaster to Test Technology to Enable Broadband Service Over Broadcast Spectrum

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Last week the FCC rejected a request by a low power television broadcaster seeking an experimental license to test a technology that would allow broadcast television stations to provide broadband access. The brief decision, available here, was issued by the FCC's Media Bureau and rejected the request primarily on the grounds that the technology the LPTV broadcaster sought to test is inconsistent with the existing ATSC standard for transmission of digital television signals in the U.S. This decision brought about a rebuke by a Wall Street Journal columnist, suggesting that the FCC was not fully exploring one way to rapidly deploy broadband through existing TV licensees, in fears of foregoing the revenues that would come from an auction of reclaimed television spectrum. This issue arises while the FCC considers the digital conversion of LPTV, and the future of the television spectrum generally.

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