Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction NPRM
FCC Auction Update – January 2017
The 600MHz band auction, which began last spring, is finally coming to a long awaited conclusion. After 3 failed rounds, round 4 has met the required conditions for a successful end. This round offered 84MHz of spectrum to the wireless carriers and other interested parties and will result in the loss of TV channels 38-51, (614-698MHz, or Lectrosonics blocks 24, 25 & 26, and Band C1). Remember that channel 37 was, and will continue to be, off limits for wireless mics, so the remaining usable band will be channels 14-36 (Lectrosonics blocks 470, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23, and Bands A1 and B1).
Once all the bidding concludes, (expected to happen by the end of January), the FCC is faced with the task of reassigning the existing TV stations in the upper 600MHz spectrum to new channels below 608MHz in a process called "repacking". For the time being we know how much spectrum is to remain and where the "duplex gap" will be (see diagram below), but we can't predict what the exact channel lineup your city or town is going to look like.
This news is heartening. Much less spectrum is being lost than we had originally feared. The original goal of the auction, had it been successful, would have taken away 126MHz of the UHF spectrum. We are grateful that the final loss of only 84MHz will be much less harmful to the operation of wireless microphones and other wireless gear.
The final Channel Reassignment Public Notice (CRPN) that the FCC will publish in the coming months will trigger a 39 month "clock" after which time all wireless microphone operation above 614 MHz must cease. That still gives users up to 3.25 years from today to continue using our gear in the affected blocks and bands.
We will continue to update this page as the news from the FCC is published.
The diagram below shows the resulting TV band spectrum with detail on the 11MHz Duplex Gap and 3MHz channel 37 Guard Band.
Lectrosonics is very concerned about these issues, and we hope to do everything possible to make you aware of what is happening and help you with the transition. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.