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The National Association of Broadcasters, which has never paid taxpayers one dime for their spectrum, has asked the FCC to approve the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger (pdf).

T-Mobile is one of the wireless carriers that the NAB teamed up with to endorse a framework for the incentive auction band plan, notes Fierce Wireless.

T-Mobile’s plan for the 120 MHz in the 600 MHz band would eliminate unlicensed spectrum. T-Mobile wants all the spectrum dedicated to licensed users. Any “free” white space users would be eliminated.

The FCC’s plan for the 120 Mhz of spectrum would appear to be more beneficial to broadcasters. The FCC would not risk broadcast interference.

WiFi-like devices, using 600 MHz band, can penetrate throughout a large house or travel miles in rural areas, enabling ubiquitous broadband.

Instead of placing licensed mobile operators adjacent to broadcast television channels, the FCC would place 6 MHz “guard bands” between broadcasters and licensed mobile operators.

Those guard bands could utilize tiny 100 Mw “white space” transmitters. White space devices listen before they transmit. They are geolocation sensitive so they can’t interfere with broadcast transmitters or receivers.

Assuming the NAB is only interested in making money, why would they back T-Mobile?

Perhaps the NAB and T-Mobile have a secret deal for mobile television. Using H.265, broadcasters can mobilize 5 channels of 720p in each 6 Mhz channel, using LTE Broadcast. T-Mobile supplies the back-channel.

Clearly, Gordon Smith, President of the National Association of Broadcasters may have Greg Walden who chairs the House Communications and Technology subcommittee, in his back pocket.

But with less then 7% of US voters still receiving off the air television, the interests of a handful of billionaire group owners now seem largely irrelevant. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other job creators back “free” internet access via unlicensed white spaces.

How would you vote?

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