Geographic Service Areas - EBS Whitespace Auction Primer (2 of 3) August 11, 2020 15:04
The primary challenge in evaluating the EBS Whitespace auction opportunities, lies with the available licensing information provided by FCC. For each of the EBS licenses, the FCC provides a map for a 35 mile radius circle from the license centerpoint. Below is the FCC map for WHR463, an EBS A1 channel license in Los Angeles county. Not indicated in this map, is the overlap that this license has with two other A1 channel licenses in Los Angeles county.
In two images below, it is clear that a significant portion WHR463's 35 mile radius license area is shared with WHG227 and WND634.
The FCC resolves these overlap issues through the creation of Geographic Service Areas (GSA) for each license_channel combination. The starting point is to look at all of the 35 mile overlaps on an individual channel basis, e.g. A1, A2, ...
Here is an example case with 5 licenses in a 4 county area.
The Geographic Service Areas are initially created by bisecting each of the overlapping areas (splitting the football) so each license has its own exclusive area.
The GSA's were formed based upon active licenses on a specific date. Licenses that were issued after this date (PSA6) do not claim any part of the overlap area with existing GSAs.
These GSA's are sometimes referred to as "Cookie Bite" GSAs.
After the GSA's were formed, any cancelled or terminated licenses lost their area, but none of that area is added to the GSAs that previously overlapped the cancelled/terminated licenses.
The map below represents the licensed spectrum in this 4 county area, prior to the EBS Whitespace Auction for a specific channel.
The final representation of the unlicensed (whitespace) area in each county that will be available in the auction is the area from the GSA boundary for each license to the county boundary.
Going back to Los Angeles County A1 channel example, you can see the WHG227, WHR463, and WND634 licenses in the center of the map reflecting each of their A1 Channel GSAs.
Our final map indicates the whitespace area for the A1 channel in Los Angeles county. Call signs WHG227 and WND634 were both cancelled after the GSA boundaries were computed, thus their license area is now part of the A1 channel EBS Whitespace, indicated in the orange cross hatch.