I want to extend my discussion of public energy services by looking at the public airwaves that are radio, TV, internet, and cell phones. This segues right in from SMART GRID discussions because all of that SMART GRID takes the airwaves and the growth in online health, education, utility services, cell phones will take ALL OF THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES. This will be like the consolidation of our print media to the point a few media corporations own all newspapers, magazines, and even in-house corporate newsletters. Now, they are going to do the same with our airwaves. Is means BYE-BYE TV---BYE BYE PUBLIC MEDIA----BYE BYE GOVERNMENT ACCESS STATIONS. All avenues of public voice will be gone. This does not mean every single wavelength will be sold---it means it will become too expensive for anyone other than big corporations to buy and operate.
If you noticed our local Baltimore TV stations bought 2 extra wavelength outlets---ABC, NBC, CBS and have put what are simply old-time reruns and informercials. They bought those in expectation of this bidding war and will sell or change usage to mobile device usage because corporations will pay top dollar to use it while the public watching TV or cable will not be able to pay more.
THESE ARE NOT DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLCANS IN CONGRESS----IT IS JUST WHICH GLOBAL INDUSTRY FOR WHICH THEY WORK--AS YOU SEE HERE----CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS WORK FOR THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY. Drat, that economic downturn and trillions of dollars of national debt created by massive Wall Street and corporate fraud requires we sell public airwaves say Clinton neo-liberals......THINK ENDING NET NEUTRALITY.
None of this was done for stimulus----it was planned in moving the global SMART GRID policies forward period. Who will be doing all the work with this? Global corporations. It will offer NO BENEFIT locally.
Smart grid, broadband appear in $825 billion 'stimulus'
planA 258-page bill proposed by House Democrats as a way to counter the economic downturn spends billions on clean electricity generation, better battery technology, and broadband deployment.
Tech IndustryJanuary 15, 20093:40 PM PST
The sprawling, 258-page draft bill includes $32 billion in electric power upgrades, sometimes known as "smart grid" technology, $6 billion for expanded broadband Internet access, and $20 billion for health care information technology.
"The economy is in a crisis not seen since the Great Depression," said letter published Thursday by Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who heads the House Appropriations Committee. "Credit is frozen, consumer purchasing power is in decline, in the last four months the country has lost 2 million jobs and we are expected to lose another 3 (million) to 5 million in the next year."
The House leadership has said it would like to hold a floor vote on the package by January 28 and send it to President-elect Barack Obama by mid-February. One potential obstacle is negotiations with the Senate, which is likely to have its own priorities.
The energy-related sections of what is tentatively called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 include $11 billion for research and development related to the "Smart Grid Investment Program;" $8 billion in loans guarantees for renewable energy generation; $2 billion for loan guarantees to high-capacity battery makers; and $200 million for a grant program for electric vehicles.
Some other portions, excerpted from the summary prepared by Rep. Obey's office:
* Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research: $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies, and national laboratories.
* Home Weatherization: $6.2 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes and make our country more energy efficient.
* Cleaning Fossil Energy: $2.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects. This funding will provide valuable information necessary to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from industrial facilities and fossil fuel power plants.
* Alternative Buses and Trucks: $400 million to help state and local governments purchase efficient alternative fuel vehicles to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. In terms of wireless and broadband, the legislation would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the Commerce Department) to create a grant program for "nonrecurring" costs of broadband deployment in rural, suburban, and urban areas--meaning, basically, anywhere in the country. NTIA is supposed to prioritize "unserved" and "underserved" areas, two terms that have no actual meaning until the Federal Communications Commission eventually comes up with one.
State governments may apply for grants by submitting reports listing which of their areas have unserved wireless voice, underserved "advanced wireless broadband," unserved basic broadband, and underserved "advanced broadband service." NTIA will dole out separate funds for wireless deployment and broadband deployment.
"Advanced broadband service" is defined as at least 45 megabits per second downstream and 15 megabits per second upstream; "advanced wireless broadband" is 3 mb/sec downstream and 1 mb/sec upstream.
Whether this so-called stimulus will have any positive effect on the economy is uncertain, though, because the U.S. Treasury will pay for it by running up the national debt significantly and future generations of taxpayers will be expected to pay it back.
The bailout's cost so far has ballooned to $8.5 trillion, not counting the $5.2 trillion in Fannie and Freddie guarantees, although the Treasury should eventually recover some or even much of this amount. If deficit spending were a sure way to stimulate the economy, the Treasury could simply borrow, say, $100 trillion -- and the economic malaise of the last few months would evaporate.
A recent article by Greg Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard and former adviser to President Bush, surveys recent research and concludes that each dollar of government spending increases economic activity by only 1.4 dollars, while (according to Obama's top economics adviser) a dollar of tax cuts raises the GDP by about $3. And Tyler Cowen of George Mason University suggests that "we are being asked to spend (untold) hundreds of billion dollars" even though the evidence it will have a positive impact "is inconclusive."
Now, when we see the uses for which all of this airwave auction is to encompass---think SMART GRID and think global online industry because that is ALL THIS IS ABOUT.
When I shout out about how important keeping the Post Office and public media is----it is because people are not going to be able to access any of these mobile devices as they become designated to corporate use and/or are made too expensive to access. This is all avenues of communication for the American people.
THINK HOW MASSIVE GLOBAL HEALTH, EDUCATION, SURVEILLANCE, SMART METERS, ET AL WILL BECOME IF ALL THIS IS LEFT TO GROW.
We had analog devices ended when Obama took office pushing all media to digital. This is not competition---it is narrowing control. Now, they are coming for TV and radio airwaves with global corporations buying current and future airspace ENDING COMPETITION. None of this has to do with what is good for the public---it simply will be a bidding war for control of all public airwaves.
FCC Delays Auction of TV Airwaves for Mobile Broadband
Bid for TV Broadcasters to Sell Airwaves to Wireless Carriers Now Planned for 2016 By Gautham Nagesh
Gautham NageshThe Wall Street Journal
Wireless spectrum: What it is, and why you should care
CNET's Marguerite Reardon explains wireless spectrum in layman's terms and tells why it's so important to what's happening in the wireless market today.
MobileAugust 13, 201212:01 AM PDT
But what exactly is wireless spectrum? And why are people in the wireless industry talking about it in apocalyptic terms?
- The coming wireless spectrum apocalypse and how it hits you
- Wireless spectrum shortage? What spectrum shortage?
- Why spectrum debate is tied to debt ceiling plan
- How politics inflame the 'spectrum crisis'
All wireless communications signals travel over the air via radio frequency, aka spectrum. The TV broadcast you watch, the radio program you listen to, the GPS device that helps get you where you're going, and the wireless phone service you use to make phone calls and check Facebook from your smartphone -- all use invisible airwaves to transmit bits of data through the air.
The easiest way to understand what spectrum really is and how it provides services is to look at your radio. When you tune your radio to 93.9 FM, you are tuning into a station that is broadcasting at 93.9 megahertz. If you want to a listen to a different station, like one that only plays country music or jazz, you turn the dial to another frequency like 104.7 FM. And a different radio station will be transmitting over that particular frequency on a different setting on your radio dial. No two stations transmit over the same spectrum at the same time in the same area, because if they did, they'd cause interference with one another.
And because wireless signals only transmit over a certain distance, you won't be able to tune in a radio station you like that broadcasts out of New York City when you are in Philadelphia or Chicago or anywhere beyond the distance that those broadcast signals can travel via spectrum over the air to your radio.
James Martin/CNET Mobile phones work much the same way. Wireless operators, such as AT&T and Verizon, cannot transmit wireless signals over the same frequencies in the same markets at the same time.
The Federal Communications Commission is the government agency that keeps track of who's using which slivers of spectrum. The agency grants companies licenses to use the spectrum. In the mobile phone market, the FCC has auctioned off spectrum, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the government.
The FCC also decides which frequencies of spectrum can be used for which purposes. For mobile phones, it has allocated spectrum generally between 700 MHz and 2.6 GHz. Most of the spectrum in this range has already been allocated for use. This means that when a wireless company wants to add more spectrum to its service to boost its capacity, it may well be disappointed: there isn't much more available spectrum that can be used.
Spectrum is the lifeblood of the industry. And as more consumers buy smartphones, which according to the FCC, use 24 times more data than a traditional cell phone, and tablets, which can consume 122 times more data than old traditional phones, there is a greater need for spectrum. The question is, where's it going to come from? Much of the best spectrum for transmitting mobile signals has already been licensed to wireless carriers, or it's being used by TV broadcasters or government agencies, which hold the rights to these licenses. As a result, the industry and the FCC have declared a spectrum shortage.
The FCC is working on ways to free up additional spectrum:
- with other government agencies to hand over spectrum for commercial use.
- with TV broadcasters to develop incentive auctions that will allow TV stations to put their unused or underused spectrum up for sale and get a cut of the proceeds.
- and in various ways to change the rules for certain blocks of spectrum used for things like satellite communications so that they can be used for mobile broadband services.
But the process to free up additional spectrum has been slow, and it's unclear whether the agency will meet this goal. What's more, many industry insiders believe 500 MHz by 2020 is still not enough spectrum to fuel such a fast-growing industry.
With an essential resource in high demand and low supply, FCC commissioners are also staring at a classic regulators' quandary: When they do auction off this additional spectrum, should they allow the market to sort itself out in the Darwinian sense and allow the spoils to go to the highest bidder? Or do they intercede, in the process protecting small carriers and protecting, in theory, consumer choice? And would it even matter if they did?
These are the questions with which the FCC is currently wrestling. There are no easy answers, but the policies that the agency sets today will have a lasting effect well into the future, whether those policies result in fewer competitors or they help preserve the many wireless competitors that exist today.
Now, when we see the uses for which all of this airwave auction is to encompass---think SMART GRID and think global online industry because that is ALL THIS IS ABOUT.
When I shout out about how important keeping the Post Office and public media is----it is because people are not going to be able to access any of these mobile devices as they become designated to corporate use and/or are made too expensive to access. This is all avenues of communication for the American people....
THINK HOW MASSIVE GLOBAL HEALTH, EDUCATION, SURVEILLANCE, SMART METERS, ET AL WILL BECOME IF ALL THIS IS LEFT TO GROW.
We had analog devices ended when Obama took office pushing all media to digital. This is not competition---it is narrowing control. Now, they are coming for TV and radio airwaves with global corporations buying current and future airspace ENDING COMPETITION. None of this has to do with what is good for the public---it simply will be a bidding war for control of all public airwaves
Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion
Posted by samzenpus on Monday November 24, 2014 @06:05AM from the more-money-more-spectrums dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that the 2014 wireless spectrum license auction has surpassed $34 billion. "A government auction of airwaves for use in mobile broadband has blown through presale estimates, becoming the biggest auction in the Federal Communications Commission's history and signaling that wireless companies expect demand for Internet access by smartphones to continue to soar. And it's not over yet. Companies bid more than $34 billion as of Friday afternoon for six blocks of airwaves, totaling 65 megahertz of the electromagnetic spectrum, being sold by the F.C.C. That total is more than three times the $10.5 billion reserve price that the commission put on the sale, the first offering of previously unavailable airwaves in six years."
Speculators betting big on FCC TV spectrum auctions
By Ben Mook | February 26, 2013 Currents
For the last few years, three well-funded buyout firms have been quietly picking up licenses to commercial and noncommercial TV stations in a gamble on big payouts from next year’s FCC incentive auction of television spectrum.
Current’s research of FCC license applications filed since 2010 found at least 25 separate deals involving three firms: OTA Broadcasting, NRJ TV and LocusPoint Networks. The stations they’ve acquired to date are on the peripheries of major markets, primarily ranging from Boston to Washington, D.C., in the eastern U.S. and from Seattle down to Los Angeles along the West Coast. The three firms are all owned or funded by private equity firms that command billions in assets.
Due to vagaries in the FCC’s reporting requirements, it’s likely that the commission’s records provide an incomplete picture of the companies’ purchases. In the 25 transactions turned up by Current, the firms have spent almost $230 million since December 2010, according to asset purchase agreements provided to the FCC.
Apart from their locations near major markets, most of the stations that have been purchased share one other characteristic: They were underperforming commercial stations or outlets whose owners were in bankruptcy. But several experts who have been watching the run-up to the auction expect that the speculators’ next big push for spectrum will focus on public TV stations.
Circle size indicates the amounts that speculators have invested in each market. Note- In Los Angeles, the sale of KSCI was part of a multi-license transaction that included stations in Hawaii. Data compiled by Current from FCC asset purchase agreements. Click to open interactive map.
“The commercial stations are more attractive, and that’s what they targeted first: stations in bankruptcy or insolvent, or hadn’t been sold in a while — the low-hanging fruit,” said Larry Miller, a Washington-based media attorney with Schwartz, Woods & Miller who represents many pubcasting clients. “And now they’re looking at noncommercials, and they’d be attractive if they’re owned by people anxious to sell.”
“There are a number of hooks in the water from auction speculators,” Miller added.
The FCC’s first action in the spectrum auction is the so-called “incentive,” or reverse, auction in which stations can offer up some or all of their spectrum for sale. The FCC will act as a middleman, trying to match interested sellers with buyers. Presumably wireless companies such as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon will be among those looking to bid.
“There are arguably markets out there where TV stations are finding it not easy to reach an audience,” said Ernest Sanchez of the Sanchez Law Firm, which also represents pubcasters before the FCC. “So it does beg the question if they should sell the spectrum and find a way to get their programming out to the audience, such as the Internet.”
W. Lawrence Patrick, founder of Elkridge, Md.–based Patrick Communications, has helped broker a number of the deals, including LocusPoint’s purchases of WUDT in Detroit from Daystar Television Network, the Texas-based religious broadcaster, and KSKJ near Los Angeles, which was sold by Capital Broadcasting Corp. Patrick is also an investor in NRJ and anticipates a marked increase in pubTV deals this year.
“The original idea was to look at the commercial stations, but more recently, they’ve started taking a look at noncommercials — religious broadcasters, or third or fourth public stations in a larger market,” Patrick said.
“It affects the ones on the margins,” Patrick said. Financially stable stations in big markets won’t sell, but those that are struggling on the peripheries of major cities will have a strong incentive. Now “they find they have beachfront property that’s worth a lot of money.”
High-rolling playersThe Blackstone Group LP, which recorded a $2 billion profit in 2012, owns 99 percent of LocusPoint through its “Blackstone Tactical Opportunities” division, according to FCC filings. The remaining 1 percent is split by Ravi Potharlanka and William deKay, veteran telecom executives who find and handle the transactions. In 2012, Blackstone recorded a $2 billion profit for the year on $4 billion in revenue.
When reached by phone last week, deKay refused to answer questions about the firm’s plans for future acquisitions.
NRJ TV LLC is a media holding company funded through loans from Fortress Investment Group LLC., a money manager with more than $50 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2012, according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Calls to NRJ and Fortress were not returned.
NRJ’s deals include the $22.7 million purchase of WZME in New York in August 2011, the $30.4 million purchase of WTVE in Philadelphia and last month’s deal for KNET in Los Angeles for $4.4 million.
The third major player is OTA Broadcasting, a division of MSD Capital, L.P., which was formed to exclusively manage the capital of Dell Computer founder Michael Dell and his family. Calls to MSD were not returned. OTA’s deals include purchases of KAXT in San Francisco for $10.1 million in January and WEBR in New York for $6.6 million in March 2012.
With no guarantees of participation or interest from buyers, the incentive auction is not a sure bet for investors. The speculators could be out the initial purchase price, usually more than $1 million. If there are no willing buyers, they could be left with a cash-strapped broadcast station. The companies are speculating that the demand for wireless spectrum will keep increasing in major urban markets and drive prices up over time.
“The companies want to buy the stations and flip them down the road for a profit, but they are taking a huge risk,” Patrick said. “There is a lot of money being spent, and they might get stuck down the road if the auction doesn’t turn out as planned.”
Gold in noncom airwaves?The first transaction involving a noncommercial TV station was filed with the FCC in December when LocusPoint signed a contract to buy student-run low-power WMJF in Towson, Md., from Towson University. Under the terms of the deal, Towson will get $1.8 million and payments to cover operating costs for two years after the sale closes. WMJF had been on the market for almost nine years after the university decided the analog equipment and license were “no longer needed to deliver academic programs and courses.”
In the FCC filing seeking approval of the license transfer, Towson officials said the university doesn’t plan to fund the station’s conversion to digital. Dr. John MacKerron, the Towson professor who serves as WMJF’s faculty advisor, said the purchase price of $1.8 million was the low end of WMJF’s appraised value.
“It works out for the university, since we were ready to take this turn away from analog anyway,” MacKerron said. “And this money from the sale will help create an endowment to keep the studio going as a multimedia platform.”
WMJF may have been the first noncom to go to speculators, but Patrick expects an unspecified number of deals to close later this year.
Late last week, bidding closed on purchase offers for KCSM-TV, licensed to the San Mateo Community College District in California. Blackstone’s LocusPoint was among the potential buyers announced Feb. 22.
This is LocusPoint’s second attempt to buy the station. College trustees rejected finalists in an earlier bidding process last November and issued a new request for proposals a month later. The college gave bidders two options for their purchase proposals: Buy the assets outright or subsidize the station’s day-to-day operations and participate “in some capacity” in the incentive auction.
The option allowing for a subsidy in return for a cut of KCSM auction proceeds could play out in other markets with multiple noncommercial stations, according to Patrick.
He expects that universities or other educational institutions operating stations in the top 10 to 15 markets will be increasingly open to considering sales as the licensees consider the market value of their broadcast spectrum. In big markets that could command the highest prices, administrators are weighing the pros and cons of keeping the stations versus selling and using the money, possibly starting an endowment with it.
If public stations and their governing licensees decide to roll these dice, it will be hard to determine how many pubcasters have placed their bets with the speculators.
Under Section 73.3613 of the FCC’s regulations, a transaction that involves a license change can be filed up to a month later. And the application can be entered on paper rather than electronically, making it that much more difficult to track.
Global corporations buying airwaves to install global SMART GRID controlling all utilities and telecommunications----THAT IS WHAT TOTALITARIAN LOOKS LIKE. Think Marxist Stalinism with all that and you see what your pols, national labor and justice organization leaders have been working together to create.
As we see, China has dominance and that will be used as reason to consolidate and expand in the US-----we will see Verizon and Comcast merging down the road to become a global corporation. The article above stated that cable TV will end with free TV so all these cable corporations listed below will consolidate into a new broadband corporation.
This is what global markets is about. It does nothing for jobs, for quality of life or good service---it is only a wealth and power struggle. The US is watching as everything that makes America free and democratic is sold and consolidated away and the American people will be in the same shape as third world nations that have one national entity controlling all media content. THAT IS TO WHERE THIS IS GOING.
As these articles state----each time the FCC has to give reasons as to why these deals are good the the public. As with the Maryland Public Service Commission which has to do the same----the reasons are bogus. We can easily reverse these sales as anti-trust and NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST if we have pols in office that are not global corporate pols. ALL MARYLAND POLS WORK TO MOVE THESE CONSOLIDATION AND GLOBAL DEALS ALONG.
Maryland already has such terrible capture of media----
Who is the World's Biggest Broadband Company? Find Out
Om Malik Jul. 28, 2010 - 6:30 AM PDT
Given that Asia dominates the list of 100 Fastest Internet cities and China is the most populous nation in the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that China is home to the largest broadband service provider in the world. The latest data gathered by Telegeography, a research firm, shows that at the end of the first quarter of 2010, China Telecom led the top 10 broadband service providers rankings. It was followed by China Unicom.
The two Chinese ISPs account for nearly 20 percent of the world’s broadband subscribers. At the end of the first quarter of 2010, there were close to 492 million broadband subscribers worldwide, Telegeography notes. (Related: there are nearly half a billion broadband subscribers worldwide.)
China vs US
The rise of these two carriers also mirrors the rise of China as an Internet behemoth, pushing the U.S. into the second spot. ?The United States had four broadband ISPs in the top ten list: Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable (c TWC) and Verizon. ?Korea Telecom cracked the top 10 and edged out Telecom Italia, pushing it to the No. 11 spot.
These top 10 broadband service providers in total account for roughly 39 percent of world’s total broadband customers, and they collectively added about 23.3 million new subscribers between the first quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.
Who’s The Best Performing ISP?
While sheer size and scope matters, it’s also important to check out a service provider’s actual performance. Many ISPs make wild bandwidth and speed claims, but deliver a suboptimal performance from their broadband connections.
Ookla, the Seattle, Wash.-based company behind the popular Speedtest.net web service, has developed a new methodology (announced yesterday) that shows you the actual performance of broadband service providers from an end-user’s perspective.
“The new ISP ranking data takes a giant step in that direction, further empowering consumers for the first time with rich data that helps evaluate ISP performance close to home or throughout the world,” ?Ookla co-founder Mike Apgar said in a statement. With nearly a million speed tests a day, Ookla has a good idea about which ISPs are performing well and are true to their claims. According to Ookla, U.S. ISPs deliver an average download speed of 9.9 Mbps while Chinese ISPs deliver an average download speed of 3.5 Mbps. South Korean download speeds, meanwhile, are around 31.5 Mbps.
How do U.S. broadband service providers rank? Ookla says Comcast is the best broadband provider in download speed terms, with an average download speed of 16.26 Mbps, while Time Warner Cable has an average speed of 13.48 Mbps and Verizon has an average of 10.76 Mbps.
Here are the top ten broadband service providers in the US based on download speeds.
1. Comcast 16.26 Mbps
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2. Charter Communications 15.06 Mbps
3. Midcontinent Communications 14.36 Mbps
4. Optimum Online (Cablevision) 14.31 Mbp
5. RoadRunner (Time Warner Cable) 13.48 Mbps.
6. Cox Communications 13.41 Mbps
7. Insight Communications 11.75 Mbps
8. Surewest Broadband 11.44 Mbps
9. Verizon 10.76 Mbps
10. Prairiewave Telecommunications 10.52 Mbps.
You can see clearly that cable companies dominate this list.
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According to Ookla, in the U.S., the average monthly cost for broadband is at $47.32 or about $5.06 per megabit per second. In California, broadband costs just $4.24 per Mbps, while residents of Idaho pay $8.80 per Mbps, Washington respondents averaged just $3.89 per Mbps and Michigan subscribers pay $6.36.