05.05.2011 10:50 AM
CEA Says ‘Underused’ Broadcast Airwaves Cost $14,444 a Minute
SpectrumCrunchClock ARLINGTON, VA.: Broadcasting is costing the country $14,444 a minute. So says the Consumer Electronics Association, one of the most aggressive supporters of the National Broadband Plan and a long-time frenemy of broadcasting. The lobby has set up a “Spectrum Crunch Clock,” similar to the National Debt Clock, which flashes an ever-increasing sum like a rogue gas pump. Says the CEA:

“The . . . Federal Communications Commission unveiled a bold plan to address the nation’s shortage of wireless broadband capability by repurposing unused broadcast spectrum, but intense lobbying by broadcast television stations has stalled progress on this vital program.”

So the CEA launched it’s clock “to help Americans visualize the economic costs of delay in spectrum reform.” The lobby says it has “calculated the value of lost opportunity to the U.S. economy and American consumers. Each minute the spectrum is not reallocated to higher value services, the American public is realizing a lost opportunity cost of $14,444, or $7.6 billion each year.”

The underlying math is not described, but it appears to be based on the assumption that the 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum targeted for broadband redesignation will bring $33 billion at auction. The clock is at $33.273 billion and counting up by the second. The National Association of Broadcasters is likely formulating their response to the CEA’s
Spectrum Crunch Clock.

And so it was. What the NAB’s Dennis Wharton said: “Instead of engaging in productive dialogue, we’ve come to expect childish gimmicks and hysteria from our CEA friends. The facts are these: broadcasters gave back 108 MHz of spectrum less than two years ago, some of which has yet to be deployed. NAB has never opposed the notion of broadcasters voluntarily giving back additional spectrum, so long as non-volunteers are held harmless. Finally, we would suggest that CEA ask whether Alabamans who are crediting local television with saving their lives during tornado coverage last week whether TV spectrum is ‘underutilized.’”
~ Deborah D. McAdams

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Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Fri, 05-06-2011 11:37 AM Report Comment
When the free TV system is ended, will the Government give me free satellite cable, to replace it? Or, will I have to give up food, clothing, and shelter to pay for TV, from some company run by billionaires?
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Fri, 05-06-2011 11:48 AM Report Comment
You may be starving, naked and living under a tree, but you should be able to pick up a wireless broadband connection for probably $1 a minute. That way, you could tweet about what grubs are in season.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Fri, 05-06-2011 10:26 AM Report Comment
Millions of people are wasting money on pay-TV subions. Let’s see just how much money is being wasted. The following calculation is based on the following assumptions. There are about 100,000,000 pay-TV subscribers in the United States. 89% of the U.S. population is within the broadcast area of 5 or more free broadcast TV stations; therefore, 89% of the 100,000,000 pay-TV subscribers, or 89,000,000 subscribers, are wasting money on pay-TV. The other assumption is the average amount the subscriber is wasting is $60 per month. That means that 5 billion, 340 million dollars are being wasted on pay-TV subions each month, which means that American consumers are wasting 64 billion, 80 million dollars per year, or $175,561,643 per day, on pay-TV. Since pay-TV became an obsolete technology on June 12th 2009, with the transition of full powered TV stations to digital broadcasting, Americans have wasted $121, 664, 218, 599 as of 5/6/2011, contributing to countless foreclosures, bankruptcies, and divorces.

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