|Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
|January 6, 1998|
PRESS STATEMENT OF FCC CHAIRMAN WILLIAM KENNARD
The first beneficiaries of the FCC's plan for transition to digital television are the
police, fire and public safety communities.|
Today we are reallocating lightly-used spectrum currently assigned for TV Channels 60 to 69 (746-806 megahertz), with 24 MHz allocated to public safety radio services, and 36 MHz allocated for new commercial uses.
* Public Safety: This action will help American communities by more than doubling the spectrum available to public safety services that are the backbone of community services in the United States, including police, fire departments, and emergency medical services.
* New Services: Today's action will also promote competition by allocating 36 megahertz to be made available through competitive bidding for new, innovative communications services. These uses could include new cellular telephone, landmobile, wireless local telephone, wireless cable, video, multimedia or industrial communication services, to name just a few possibilities.
I particularly welcome new ideas from new entrepreneurs to take advantage of the competitive opportunities this reallocated spectrum provides.
In addition, while recovery of unused spectrum is an integral part of the FCC plan for transition from analog to digital television, I am sensitive to the effects of spectrum recovery on Low Power TV and TV translators who operate on channels 60-69. We will allow these licensees to continue their services until the end of the DTV transition period as long as they do not cause harmful interference to primary services. This will be particularly important in rural communities. I am hopeful that many of these low power and translator licensees will be able to continue operations on a new channel below channel 60.
This reallocation action today is an important step toward both improving the effectiveness of our public safety agencies, and keeping the United States at the cutting edge of telecommunications technology.