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In the mid 1990's the US congress authorized the distribution of additional broadcast frequencies to EXISTING full power broadcast televison stations. The purpose of the additional bandwidth to these stations was to allow the stations to develop their stations transmission technologies to be both analogy & digital, this directive was called the DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION. This allowed full power broadcast stations to simultaneously transmit a new digital rendition while still continuing their analog broadcasting. Eventually congress set a JUNE 12, 2009 deadline for all full power tellevision stations to broadcast only in a digiital format and discontinue ALL analogy signals.


Not all analog broadcasing was terminated on the June 2009 deadline. Low power, LPTV, broadcasters were allowed to continue broadcasting in the analog format for a few more years. Typically low power TV "LPTV" broadcasters are defined as educational non-commerical TV, repeaters of full power broadcasters or broadcast translators.

On July 15, 2011 the FCC imposed a deadline that required all LPTV, stations utilizing analogy channels 52 through 69 were required to vacate those channels by December 31, 2011. They also mandated that all LP, Class A and broadcast translators / repeaters were required to shut down by Sept 1, 2015.



As a result of the mantitory shift of all full power broadcasterter to transmit their programmimng only in the digital format.
Previously utilized bandwidth to transmit wideband analog now was opened for use by numberous public entities, in narrower band digital format i,e; fire, police, first responders and the growning market of cell telephones, wireless data, telemetry of all types.

The bandwidth above the old UHF analog channel, 51, with its upper bandedge at 698 MHz was the United States 700MHz FFC wireless spectrum auction, known official as Auction 73.
Auction 73, placed 108MHz of spectrum from ch 52 through ch 69. The bidding and award of the bandwidth was concluded on July 28, 2011, with Verizon and AT&T landing the largest shares of the auctioned spectrum.


Not all carriers submitted bids, Sprint and T-Mobile, two of the four national carriers who together represented 32 percent of the wireless industry's subscribers at the time, chose not to participate at all in Auction 73.

It seems that all of the current 4 national wireless carriers appear interested in participating in the auction of 600 MHz spectrum.

This auction 73, provided excellent cost effect spectrum for smaller carriers. The smaller carriers provided 14 percent of auction's revenuef while exchanging for 28 percent of "MHZ POP", or MHZ Per unit of population. Small carier winners included regional wireless operators such as; C Spire Wireless and Cincinnati Bell. The auction awarded spectrum to various small phone companies, cable companies, as well as equipment manufacturers.


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