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FCC squeezes the ham TV band

Wednesday January 7 10:22 AM EST

FCC Reallocates Lightly Used Television Spectrum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission said
Tuesday it had reallocated lightly used television frequencies for use
by public safety services.

Portions of the spectrum between 746 and 806 megahertz that had carried
channels 60 to 69 will be given over to police and fire departments and
other emergency services. The remainder of the spectrum will be
auctioned off for commercial use.

The reallocation was required by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The
FCC had previously announced it would reallocate the lightly used
spectrum in an April, 1997 plan for the transition to digital

FCC chairman William Kennard said on Tuesday the commission would allow
some users of the high channels to continue operations, however.

"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,"
Kennard said in a statement.

Such broadcasters may continue operations through the transition to
digital television "as long as they do not cause harmful interference
to primary services," he said.


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