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400 Broadcasters Headed to Capital Hill

WASHINGTON: More than 400 broadcasters will march on Washington this week--in an orderly fashion. Executives from local TV stations will meet with lawmakers on policy issues critical to local broadcasting, including the FCC’s growing campaign to take broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband.

The NAB said television broadcasters “will meet to ensure lawmakers understand the ramifications of recent proposals to reclaim broadcast TV spectrum for increased mobile broadband. Following the transition from analog to digital TV, in which TV broadcasters spent more than $10 billion and returned more than a quarter of their spectrum, some wireless industry advocates are now supporting proposals that could diminish free, broadcast TV service. Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have already expressed concern over the proposals.

The broadcasters are in Washington for the NAB’s State Leadership Conference. The week’s events include a series of policy updates at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, with scheduled appearances from House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus John Dingell and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). Local broadcast representatives will meet with their lawmakers in a series of meetings on Wednesday.