FCC Order Addresses TV White Spaces
On March 20, the FCC released an order addressing important rule changes for TV White Spaces devices. The order requires TV white space devices to incorporate an automatic geolocation capability to ensure that the TV white spaces database has accurate location information for all devices. This change is designed to prevent someone in New York City from registering themselves as being in Montana so their white spaces device could work despite there being no free TV white spaces channels in their area. This order will lead to a more accurate database and significantly decrease the potential harm that TV white space operations can cause to TV operations going forward.
The order also resolves petitions for reconsideration filed by both NAB and white spaces advocates regarding additional rule changes. The order loosens restrictions on white space devices in some cases and allows for operation at higher antenna heights in rural areas. Given that we now have more confidence that the location of these devices will be accurately reported, we do not see these changes as problematic.
Separately, following months of negotiations with Microsoft, NAB filed a letter with the FCC indicating no objection to a further notice of proposed rulemaking exploring additional rule changes that would provide more flexibility for white space operations in rural areas while continuing to protect broadcast television.
We continue to oppose the FCC reserving an extra channel for TV white spaces devices in the TV band, and the commission continues to stand down on that issue. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spectrum Repack Phase 2 Ending Soon
Phase 2 of the spectrum repack is just weeks away. All stations transitioning in this phase are now within the 30-day window when consumer education is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). NAB encourages stations transitioning as part of the repack to use the viewer education tools available at NAB’s website TVAnswers.org/tools. On-air and online tools, including spots, talking points, sample scripts and crawls and even automated phone messaging are available, along with customizable spots in English and Spanish that instruct viewers how to rescan their TVs and converter boxes.
Be sure to:
1. Complete this form with your exact rescan day and time so we can help spread the word to your viewers. We will use this information to ensure our rescan database is accurate and send messages to viewers who have signed up through our website to remind them when to rescan their TVs.
2. Review this checklist of activities to ensure you are meeting FCC education requirements and aware of best practices recommended by NAB.
3. Alert your cable and satellite partners to your rescan day and time. This is required by the FCC 90 days in advance of your rescan day.
4. Customize these pre-produced spots with your rescan day and time and start alerting viewers that changes are coming.
5. Don’t forget to post your rescan day and time on your website and social media channels – this will reduce the number of calls coming into your station.
6. If your rescan day should change for any reason, alert NAB immediately by emailing NABMarketing@nab.org.
We are committed to providing you with all the information you need to prepare and respond to your viewers. Working together, we can ensure your viewers continue to receive your station and the lifeline information you provide. We’ll make sure to share any updates in the coming months. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at NABMarketing@nab.org.