Matthew Lasar, writing for ars technica, discusses three ways that spectrum now allocated to UHF television could be made available for wireless broadband per FCC goals [bold added]:
… The first possible method would be a "two step auction." In phase one of this system, individual broadcasters would announce the minimum auction price at which they'd be willing to relinquish their license to the FCC. The agency would then conduct "a repacking analysis" of the spectrum and the cost of "clearing" for transfer to a wireless company. ¶ The next possibility would be an "exchange," in which groups of broadcasters would offer up their spectrum together and bidders offer prices on them simultaneously. ¶ Congress would need to authorize either of these means to the spectrum transfer end. … ¶ The last prospect would be to create a license sharing or "overlay" regimen. We'll let the FCC explain this one:
- Under this alternative, the FCC would divide the broadcast TV bands into large, contiguous blocks and auction all or a portion of those blocks as overlay licenses with flexible use. Overlay licensees would have co-primary rights with DTV stations. They would have primary rights in any part of the license area that is not served by DTV licensees, but would have to protect any DTV broadcast stations in their service area.
- The overlay license holders could negotiate directly with broadcast TV stations to clear the spectrum either by discontinuing OTA signals or by relocating to another block. One overlay license holder could pay another overlay license holder to accept the relocated station or pay a broadcast TV station to share its bandwidth with that relocated station.
Link: ars technica. --Dennis