LPTV Bill Opinion Survey
1.
Texas Congressman Barton introduced this week the "LPTV Preservation Act of 2014" within the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce.  It makes an addition to the one paragraph about LPTV which was in the original 2012 Incentive Spectrum Act. The new paragraph seems to imply that the FCC would gain new authority to eliminate an LPTV license if the auction process needed that to happen.  That original one paragraph from the 2012 bill was all about LPTV spectrum rights protection.  This has held back the FCC from even thinking about major changes to LPTV.  However, that has not stopped the FCC from a wholesale changing of the current band, which it says Congress has given them authority to do.  Again, the band is being changed, but LPTV spectrum rights are not.  
The Barton bill was written in collaboration with the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA), which we know the Board of, but not the membership.  What we do know is that the Board is made up of the largest full power TV broadcast station group (Sinclair), three faith-based broadcasters including two of the largest faith-based networks and LPTV spectrum holders, a leading LPTV engineer who also is part of the TV translator association, a senior manager of an LPTV station group which with multiple licenses and stations in smaller markets and is promoting new transmission standards, and two major equipment manufacturers. Congressman Barton had his bill written for more than 65 days before introducing it last week.  In that time no one other than his staff, the House Subcommittee majority counsel staff, and the ATBA Board and counsel had supposedly seen it,  Our Coalition had asked to see it but was refused. The National Translator Association has not approved the Bill, nor has the National Religious Broadcasters association.  Assuming you have read the actual text of the Bill, here are a few questions we would like your opinions on:

 

I believe that the Bill helps LPTV and protects our spectrum usage rights
I believe that this Bill gives the FCC too much new power and greatly increases their power to eliminate LPTV
I do not yet know enough about this Bill but I am concerned because of the lack of an open process
I do not yet know enough about this this Bill but I am not concerned because the ATBA Board knows what is good for LPTV
It is outrageous that the Coalition and other LPTV licensees were not given the opportunity t review the Bill
The Bill does not address the major concerns of LPTV licensees such as the unfunded mandate to relocate, not allowing LPTV in the auction, must carry, etc.
Other  
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2.
Rank these items which the LPTV might want to have Congress pass legislation on:
 Lowest Priority Could Do Without It Would Really Help, But Have Learned To Live WIthout It Essential To Have Top Priority 
Post Auction Channel Relocation Funding
Post Auction Cable Must Carry
A New Cable Leased Access Rate Formula
Guaranteed Access To Local Ed and Government Content (PEG)
Higher Transmission Power Levels
Mandatory Inclusion of channels on DBS set-top databases for OTA reception
Flexible-use transmission authority (digital data, ATSC 3.0, etc)
A guaranteed displacement UHF channel
Conversion to primary status after LPTV after the auction
Post-auction channel sharing with PBS and or any current primary licensee
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3.

Because this opinion poll is being done in the sunshine, it would be good for everyone to see where the participants are in the industry. Your individual privacy is protected but the results will show up in the categories below.  thanks

I am an LPTV licensee with 1-5 stations and/or construction permits
I am an LPTV licensee with more than 5 but less than 50 stations and perm
I am an LPTV licensee with more than 50 stations and permits
I am part of a network which airs on LPTV stations
I am professional services provider to LPTV licensees (lawyers, engineers, telecom, etc)
I am an equipment manufacturer or dealer which supplies LPTV licensees
I am a member of the trade press & media
I work for the FCC
I work for Congress
I work for NAB
I work for a policy organization
I work for a net and app economy company (Google, Microsoft, etc)
I am a wireless internet service provider (WISP)
I work for APTS, PBS, or CPB
I would rather not share this information
Other  
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  • 500 characters left.
4.

The FCC has just opened a comment process related to a Petition by the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA) which proposes that all unbuilt LPTV construction permits get a "blanket waiver" and must be built-out and operational by September 2015. This is the same date as the analog-to-digital sunset date for building.  However this date is exactly in the middle of the upcoming Incentive Spectrum Auction process.  The FCC has already said they are willing to extend this date, and to harmonize it with the LPTV displacement repacking process post-auction. Further, many 2009 rural filing window construction permits are due after this arbitrary date. And the FCC has already said that all requests for 3rd extensions of new construction permits will be handled by the full Commission at a later date, but before the auction. 

What is your opinion about the proposed ATBA date of Sept. 2015, and the process they have proposed?
I agree with ATBA and all LPTV CPs need to be built in the middle of the auction process, even if they have to be moved and rebuilt again when they are displaced.
I do not agree with the arbitrary date of Sept. 2015 and think ATBA should have picked a date much later.
I want to wait to see what the FCC comes up with for a date they are willing to extend all outstanding CPs to.
I agree with the Coalition proposal that all unbuilt CPs have the option to be pushed back until at least 40 months post auction, and to when the primary station repacking is completed, and that you can build any time during those 40 months.
Other  
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5.
The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition is proposing a "Grand Bargain" to help not just the urban LPTV owners and viewers, and the rural TV translators and their viewers, and the 100's of independent networks which air on them; but it will help the small independent wireless internet service providers, unleash the unlicensed economy, and greatly assist the PBS system maintain their national coverage and pay for their translator channel moves.  By making sure that Congress has a way to pay-for LPTV channel relocation costs, this Grand Bargain has a real chance to become a bi-partisan bill, and could actually pass both houses of Congress.  The Coalition has met with most all of the divergent interest groups which would need to sign off on this.  Most all are in agreement that it could work if they could get what they wanted in the deal.  The only real roadblocks are NAB and Google.  NAB simply does not want LPTV to be a viable competitor to their government protected business model.  And Google wants our spectrum without having to pay for it.  For all the other interest groups it is not no, but how?  What we want to know is this - What is the best future you can envision for your LPTV investment?  Is it having a flex-use license and being able to lease or sell spectrum to a Verizon or AT&T?  Is it having full market coverage with cable must-carry or retrans fees?  Is it selling out now at a high coverage pop price?  Is it channel sharing with a primary station and collecting each month a channel lease check?  
A cable must carry and mandatory retrans future
A flexible transmission system future
Collecting monthly channel lease payments
Just leave me alone and let me be a local TV station just as I am now
I want out now, just pay me for my coverage pops and facilities
What are you folks smoking, the end is near and we are toast
I want my displacement channel move paid for so I can stay in business
I want as much time post auction I can have so that I can build out my CPs
Other  
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