Aggregate Interference Simulations

On June 2, 2014, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, the International, Media, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus, and the Incentive Auction Task Force ("Task Force") released a Public Notice summarizing a staff analysis designed to determine the potential for new aggregate interference to television stations under the Commission's adopted approach for preserving population served based upon pairwise interference limits.

For purposes of the analysis, the FCC staff performed 100 simulations using three different approaches to creating simulated sets of station's to be repacked. The Public Notice included an Appendix with summaries of the key findings of the simulations. On June 11, 2014, in response to the Public Notice, the National Association of Broadcasters ("NAB") submitted a letter requesting that the Task Force make available some number of the staff's 100 repacking simulations. NAB states that access to this information will allow it to comment more meaningfully on the Public Notice.

In response to NAB's request, and in the interest of transparency, FCC staff is now releasing the underlying data for these simulations. For the purposes of this release, the data have been separated into the three different approaches, each of which corresponds to the metric used to rank stations for repacking for purposes of the simulations:

  1. The first metric (50 simulations) is the interference-free population served by the station as determined by the TVStudy software.
  2. The second metric (25 simulations) is calculated as a station's interference-free population served divided by the stations’ "blocked channels" indicator.
  3. The third metric (25 simulations) is equal to the station's 2013 Nielsen DMA ranking.

As stated in the Public Notice, the data and information released today relate only to the repacking process, and specifically to issues commenters raised regarding the necessity of an aggregate interference cap when preserving coverage area and population served. Further, the metrics released today do not reflect staff or Commission assumptions about auction participation or station valuation.