Monday, January 4, 2016

Spectrum Auction to Spark Crew Shortage

As the late-March FCC-orchestrated spectrum auction approaches, speculation grows that too-few tower crews will be available to make broadcasters’ TV transitions smoothly and within the three-year window prescribed by the Commission. In November, the NAB released a study it commissioned Digital Tech Consulting to perform titled “Broadcast Spectrum Repacking Timeline, Resource and Cost Analysis Study.” The 60-page report detailed possible obstructions, key of which was lack of human resources to do the heavy lifting.

While no one knows for sure exactly how many broadcasters will move or sell their spectrum, as many as 1,200 could and that would immediately initiate a huge demand for tower teams. During the holiday break, Tom Silliman, president and CEO at antenna manufacturer ERI (and a tower rigger himself), told TV Technology the number of qualified crews is about the same as it was prior to the DTV transition in 2009. Continue Reading

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