Episode #: 79
Show: National 6
Airdates: July Ö Jan '01(see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)

Technology Update: Digital wireless television 
vs. Cable

Digital Broadcast Corporation provides some clear answers to this raging debate. 
Broadcast Excerpts

As traditional cable companies have continued to experience huge debt burdens and decreasing profit margins, the digital wireless industry has emerged as a viable alternative. Over the past several years, the wireless cable industry has established its commercial viability and has captured the attention of the investment community. 

Private and public investors have invested more than a billion dollars into various analog wireless cable companies over the past three years alone. Essentially all of these investment dollars have been expended on the development of analog systems. Although analog wireless technology has proven successful, its success has been on a relatively limited basis. And because of its inherent limitations, analog technology simply does not provide a viable alternative for more competitive urban markets. Industry experts have recognized that the future of the wireless cable industry is essentially dependent upon its ability to convert to digital technology. 


This industry is literally at a turning point. The experts say it must implement digital technology in order to expand its markets and become commercially viable on a widespread basis. Many existing analog wireless operators, however, simply do not have the financial ability to convert, having already expended huge amounts of capital on analog equipment and, in many instances, having overpaid for license rights.

As a result, although affordable digital technology is now available, many analog operators simply do not have the means to obtain it. These events have created a unique opportunity for a "new" system operator known as Digital Broadcast Corporation. As a new operator, not burdened by a huge debt load and antiquated equipment, DBC has the unique opportunity to establish a market presence in the wireless cable industry. In this story we take an in-depth look at these critical developments in this new technology.

Digital Broadcast Corporation is an emerging, multiple systems operator engaged in the technological development, ownership and operation of residential wireless television systems. The company is said to be a leader and innovator of digital wireless connection services, and is the first in the United States to offer digital compression technology to residential wireless cable subscribers. 

Utilizing a new, state-of-the-art, high-ratio digital compression system DBC enables a digital wireless operator to "compress" up to ten broadcast channels over a single broadcast frequency, a feat that cannot be achieved using "analog" technology. 

DBC has targeted several markets for the introduction of digital compression technology. The company has already introduced the technology in the Roanoke, Virginia market. ItĂs top execs say they have a two-pronged approach, acquisition of both license rights and proprietary technology rights. This has given DBC a substantial head start over existing and potential competitors in the digital wireless industry. 

In addition, Digital Broadcast Corporation says they will be offering high-speed access to the Internet and corporate Intranet services for today's telecommuters and business professionals. 

They say Subscribers can enjoy download speeds 300 times faster than conventional telephone modems and 150 times faster than ISDN. 

AirCable of Roanoke is DBC's flagship station, as the Company rolls out a number of stations over the next 3-5 years. DBC also controls channel lease agreements and options in: Wilmington, NC., Bellingham, WA., and Flagstaff, AZ., Fresno, CA., has a joint venture agreement with Omaha, NE., Scranton, PA., and is targeting Mobile, Al., Sarasota, Fl., Atlantic City, NJ. and others. 

In the 1990s, the wireless cable industry began to realize its potential. Wireless cable has been expanding at an annual subscriber growth rate of approximately 40%. Industry analysts expect this growth rate to continue at least through the next decade. The industry is also positioned to expand into video-on-demand, home shopping networks, Internet access, telecommunications, and a vast array of consumer demands. In recent years, various telephone companies have made major investments into the wireless cable industry. Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and Pacific Telesis, among others, have acquired interests in wireless cable systems and licenses. 

There are approximately 150 wireless cable systems in the United States presently operating, and wireless cable served approximately 800,000 customers by the end of 1995. No doubt this figure is increasing at an exponential rate moving into the new Millenium.

According to Investor's Business Daily, the Internet and Intranet market will grow from what was a $35 billion industry in 1996 to an estimated $100 billion by the end of the year 2000. The need for a much faster method of downloading information and an accelerated method of sending data upstream is critical and needed. 

Although wireless cable has existed for over two decades, only recently has it proven to be a competitor to conventional cable. The wireless cable industry was made commercially possible in 1983 when the FCC made 8 additional Multi-channel Multi-point Distribution Service channels available by reallocating a portion of the electromagnetic radio spectrum for such use. In 1985, the FCC made additional channel licenses available and instituted a lottery to award such licenses in metropolitan markets. 

Digital Broadcast Corporation says itĂs taking a leadership role in providing new and cutting edge Internet and Intranet technology to the corporate community, hospital and medical fields including schools and universities, legal, accounting, graphic arts and printing industries, not to mention small businesses and home offices.



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