NAB Chief Urges Lawmakers to Look at Wireless Receiver Standards
March 22, 2011
WASHINGTON: The chief broadcast lobbyist dropped a note to lawmakers today
suggesting they look at the consumer electronics industry for spectrum. Gordon
Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, wrote to
the Senate and House Commerce Committee leadership, suggesting they take up
receiver performance standards.
“While reallocating airwaves to wireless carriers may accomplish some goals, technological
improvements can and should be utilized by current wireless licensees to ensure
the most efficient use of spectrum,” Smith wrote to Senate Commerce Committee
Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison
(R-Texas), House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ranking
Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
Smith cited a piece in
Daily in which the current and former chief of the Federal Communications
Commission Office of Engineering and Technology were quoted acknowledging the
necessity of addressing receiver performance in facilitating spectrum
efficiency. He noted that RF interference is often related to poor receiver
performance and their ability to reject undesired signals.
“Poor RF performance quality of wireless receivers thus can contribute to a
capacity crunch for wireless services just as significantly as inadequate
spectrum supply,” he said.
Smith’s tact coincides with another by the wireless industry to have TV
stations cleared from Ch. 51. (
See “Wireless Lobbies Ask
FCC to Clear TV From Ch. 51.”) The CTIA--The Wireless Association and
the Rural Cellular Association filed a petition with the FCC recently to freeze
new licenses on the frequency and eventually to work on clearing it. The
wireless lobbies claim TV operations in Ch. 51, the top of the TV band,
interfere with wireless receivers functioning in Ch. 52. Broadcasters
relinquished Chs. 52-69 in the digital transition. The spectrum auctioned off
to wireless providers.
The FCC has not yet acted on the petition.
-- Deborah D. McAdams