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What cord-cutting TV antenna users need to know about the FCC’s spectrum auction

فناوری اطلاعات فارس :

If you depend on free over-the-air broadcasts from a TV antenna, you might have heard rumblings about a spectrum auction by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will bring big changes to your local broadcast TV stations.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell from the media coverage what the auction actually means for antenna users. To figure it all out, I’ve done some research and spoken with the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) executive vice president of communications Dennis Wharton.

Here’s what cord cutters need to know about all the upcoming changes:

In a nutshell, what’s happening?

Over the last year, the FCC has been looking to repurpose a portion of the public airwaves used by television broadcasters. By clearing these airwaves, the FCC can make way for new and improved wireless data networks.

To that end, the FCC has held a reverse auction, through which many broadcasters agreed to vacate their airwaves in exchange for large sums of money. The FCC, in turn, auctioned off the resulting wireless spectrum to internet and telecommunications providers such as T-Mobile and Comcast. They’ll use those airwaves to make wireless networks more reliable, launch new services, and lay the groundwork for 5G wireless.

How many channels are affected by this?

Nearly 1,000 of the 2,197 stations across the United States will move to a different broadcast frequency and channel number. Up to 144 stations could go off the air entirely, but many of them could instead reach a channel-sharing agreement with an existing station. (Don’t worry; I’ll explain what all this means shortly.)

As for your local area, the website RabbitEars has a useful tool for looking up changes by state, city, market, and operator. Results highlighted in blue, green, yellow, or red are moving to a different channel. Results highlighted in gray will either go off the air or reach channel-sharing agreements.

Are there downsides to a station changing channels?

Although most people shouldn’t notice any problems, a channel change could cause reception issues for a small percentage of people. The FCC has decided that each channel change should create no more than 2 percent additional interference, which means 2 percent of homes in each market could lose access to a given channel. (The NAB’s Wharton notes that such a small percentage could still affect lots of people in a large market such as New York City.)

فروردین ۳۱ام, ۱۳۹۶ | 21 views | دسته: english
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