Phil Kurz /
05.11.2011 08:00 AM
Any TV spectrum giveback must be truly voluntary, says NAB chief

NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith called on the federal government yesterday to ensure any surrender of broadcast spectrum by television licensees is truly voluntary and to hold harmless any broadcaster that chooses not to relinquish spectrum.

During his keynote to those gathered for the ATSC annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Smith echoed comments made in his keynote in April at the 2011 NAB Show, saying the NAB does not object to a station volunteering to sell its spectrum as long as doing so does not harm another station wishing to stay in business.

“The problem is that what is voluntary for the former could become involuntary for the latter,” he said.

As part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the agency is pursuing authority from Congress to conduct voluntary incentive auctions to recoup 120MHz of television spectrum for use to meet future wireless broadband Internet demand. In addition to incentive auctions, the commission is considering a variety of other rule changes, such as allowing two or more competitive stations to share the same 6MHz DTV channel, repacking the TV band, and modifying rules that protect against harmful interference, to make room for wireless Internet providers.

“It concerns us that the FCC could forcibly relocate broadcasters, crowd channels closer together, reduce their coverage, destroy innovation for viewers, increase interference or otherwise degrade their signals,” said Smith.
During his speech to the ATSC audience, Smith identified what NAB wants to achieve as the FCC moves forward. According to Smith, the association wants “to protect broadcasters from being forced to give up spectrum involuntarily.” It also wants those that do not give up spectrum to not be “disadvantaged by their choice to stay in the business of broadcasting.”

Smith opened his speech to the ATSC praising its accomplishments and urging it to help broadcasters find ways to take advantage of a new world of opportunities presented by the transition of television from a linear medium to an interactive platform and from high definition to 3-D. He said, “finding a way for broadcasters to take part in that new world isn’t optional, it’s a necessity in order to stay competitive with other media in this complex and unpredictable digital world.”

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Manor Marketing /   Tuesday 10:32 AM
Cobham takes on American Ninja Warrior
ignite strategic communications /   Tuesday 07:12 PM
Bexel Expands Inventory with Investment in Fujinon Cabrio Lenses

Featured Articles
Product News
Discover TV Technology