NAB ready for impending debate over spectrum allocation, says Wharton

December 3, 2009

The wireless communications industry has a suggestion for the FCC as it develops a plan to deliver broadband Internet service nationwide: namely, make 800MHz of spectrum below 3GHz available for new wireless Internet service.

CTIA, the association representing the interest of the wireless industry, last month told the FCC the TV band, as well as spectrum used for satellite and fixed microwave service, offered attractive options. In the commission filing, the wireless association took direct aim at the broadcast industry. The filing argued any favorable consideration given TV broadcasters for serving the public interest should be tempered by the fact that broadcasters are at least as interested in shareholder ROI as they are in serving the needs of their local communities. The association also told the commission that TV stations aren’t particularly efficient in the way they use their 6MHz channel allotments.

Not so fast, say the NAB and MSTV. In their comments to the commission, both broadcast trade groups trumpeted the benefits the public reaps from DTV and suggested that developing a national broadband plan does not require giving up on free, over-the-air television.

In this podcast interview, NAB executive VP Dennis Wharton discusses the wireless industry’s attempt to grab broadcast spectrum and where this battle may be headed.

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