FCC okays framework for channel-sharing after spectrum auction

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The FCC on Friday (April 27) unanimously adopted the basic regulatory framework for broadcast channel-sharing after the auction to free up bandwidth for mobile devices, reports Broadcasting & Cable. Any channel sharing will be voluntary and flexible; stations may decide how to divide a shared 6-MHz channel, as long as each delivers at least one standard-definition digital primary channel. Each primary channel will be subject to all FCC obligations and must-carry rights.

Under spectrum auction legislation approved earlier this year, a broadcaster may opt to give up entirely its license to broadcast on a TV channel of 6 MHz, keep only part of its 6-MHz channel and share the rest with another station, or swap its UHF channel for a VHF channel (Current, Feb. 28).