|UHF and the future of the Internet|
|Written by Icrontic|
|Thursday, 23 August 2007|
In 2005, Section 3002 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 amended the United States Communications act of 1934 to state that any TV incapable of receiving DTV (Digital Television) broadcasts would go dark on 17 February, 2009. This has since been codified under Title 47, § 309 of the United States Code. While this is significant for sundry people baking their noodles with antique TVs, it is even more important for the future of broadband.
Since the dawn of broadcast television in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission has been in charge of our electromagnetic spectrum. Not only does the FCC have the power to say who operates in the communication portions of the spectrum, they have the power to say what operates in the spectrum. The spectrum is divided into smaller ranges of frequencies called "Bands," and once in a great while, the FCC creates new bands from previously-unused frequencies or converts old/unused bands for new purposes.
In the early days of dissecting the spectrum for communication and broadcasting, the "Big Four" broadcasters (CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont) operated in the VHF band (30-300MHz). As the popularity of TV grew, the FCC realized that the VHF band was not large enough to accomodate the rapid growth of TV's frequency requirements in addition to future communication methods. Therefore the FCC set to work and defined a large band known as UHF. Icrontic