Univision Radio San Diego Chief Engineer Angel Ramos passed his test to win SBE Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer status. Ramos, who’s been a staff engineer and later chief engineer for KLQV (FM) and KLNV (FM) San Diego for over 20 years, took the exam in early November. Congratulations!
On October 10, 2018, EW Scripps Broadcasting, licensee of KGTV and KZSD-LP, was granted a Construction Permit to operate on channel 20. This is to remedy a displacement by telecom from their temporary home on channel 39. The 7.3 kW ERP signal will have a westward directional signal.
This should be an interesting one to watch because it is the only San Diego station given FCC permission to occupy a Los Angeles/Orange County T-band channel used by first responders there. A previous attempt by Televisa’s XHUAA to occupy channel 20 in 2006 was met with resistance by land mobile operators in the L.A. metro area and Televisa moved that operation to channel 22.
KZSD was purchased by Scripps to broadcast Azteca America programming, but with that network’s broadcast being taken over by Entravision’s XHAS Tijuana, KZSD has been translating the KGTV ABC subchannel. To date, the signal is analog.
The FCC announced on October 30th a displacement application filing window for low power TV (LPTV), TV translators, and digital replacement translator stations displaced by the incentive auction and repacking process. Three San Diego TV broadcasters made mutually exclusive applications and are caught up in the fight for channel 25. KSDY (ICN, channel 50) and KDTF-LD (Entravision, channel 51), both now operating from Mt. San Miguel, are seeking to operate on channel 25 after repacking. KHAX-LP (Entravision, channel 49, Vista) is also listed, but Entravision can resolve that application by stipulating it could accept interference from its own transmissions in its isolated coverage area. KHAX-LP was granted a Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) in late October to operate on channel 21, which its Mexican sister station XHDTV Tecate is expected to move to from channel 47. Both XHDTV and KHAX in the past operated on channel 49.
Upper UHF stations in San Diego have received letters from T-Mobile stating they may begin operations on the upper UHF channels at the end of November 2018. Not only do the LPTV’s have to resolve the MX claim, but in many cases they must file STA applications for operation on a temporary channel, then must order and install the equipment before the end of November or go off the air.
Mutually exclusive applications can be settled a number of ways. One station could file for operation on another channel. The stations could agree to share a single physical channel. Or one station could pay the other’s legal and engineering expenses and have that station go off the air. Stations are not allowed to sell for a speculated value exceeding accrued costs.
The MX settlement window opened October 30 and will close January 10, 2019. If stations can’t resolve their mutually exclusive applications through a technical settlement, the FCC will force an auction for the channel.
The SBE filed comments on Oct. 29, 2018, with the FCC in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (FCC 18-91), released July 13, 2018. That notice sought comment on various proposals for transitioning all or part of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band for flexible use, terrestrial mobile spectrum, and explores options for more efficient and intensive fixed use of the same band, all while protecting incumbent C-Band satellite earth stations from harmful interference.
The SBE comments constitute a counterproposal that offers a reasonable alternative to dividing the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, a reverse auction, or other action that would not protect incumbent C-band receive-only earth stations. The SBE suggests that, given the huge number of C-band registrations since the opening of the window (now reportedly greater than 16,000), the FCC’s initial premise that the C-Band could be shared with 5G as an overlay was simply wrong.
Recognizing that the European 5G proposal is 3.4-3.8 GHz, and since that offers 1 MHz of overlap with the U.S. proposal, the U.S, should adopt the European allocation, put the commercial broadband providers in the 3.4-3.7 GHz band and use the small overlap segment with C-band for local, private 5G networks critical for next-generation manufacturing and industrial applications. That is actually workable with C-band in the 100 MHz overlap segment. It leaves the vast majority of the spectrum, 3.8-4.2 GHz, intact with no 5G.
In contrast to other proposals, nothing is lost for current C-band users with the SBE plan. 5G moves into military radar spectrum, which was already designated years ago for broadband reallocation as part of the National Broadband Plan.
The FCC wants feedback on its announced procedures on Auction 100 that affects two San Diego area broadcasters. At issue locally are the mutually exclusive applications from AM broadcasters KURS (El Sembrador Ministries, 1040 kHz, San Diego) and KECR (Family Radio, 910 kHz, El Cajon), who each want to operate FM translators on 100.1 MHz. The FCC has set opening bids at $35,000.
The FCC expects bidding to open in 2019. Initial comments are due by November 15.