NAB Applauds Senate Passage of Low Power Protection Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The NAB has issued a statement applauding the U.S. Senate for passing the Low Power Protection Act, which provides eligible low power television stations a long-overdue opportunity to obtain interference protections, the NAB said. 

"NAB applauds passage of the Low Power Protection Act, which will enable innovation and local investment for the low power television stations that serve the millions of Americans living in small and rural markets,” said NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “These broadcast stations play a critical role in keeping their viewers informed with community-centered journalism, public affairs programming and lifeline information during times of emergency. We thank Sens. Blunt and Wyden for their bipartisan leadership on this bill, which ensures TV broadcasters can better serve their local communities."

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) introduced Low Power Protection Act to strengthen spectrum rights for certain low power television (LPTV) stations. If passed by the House and signed into law, it would require the FCC to open a new filing window during which qualifying LPTV stations could apply for and receive Class A status that would protect LPTV stations from being bumped off-air by harmful interference. 

In response to the Senate passage, Lee Miller, the executive director, Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, which represents LPTV broadcasters, noted that "We applaud the Senate for approving the Low Power Protection Act.  It is an important first step to ensure that more low power televisions stations are given the certainty they need to invest in their stations without facing the existential risk of being displaced by another station.  We will continue to push for expanding the opportunities for more low power stations to earn permanent spectrum protection rights.”

The act, however, has been sharply criticized by the LPTV Broadcasters Association as too flawed and limited to protect low power stations. After the passage by the Senate, it has issued a statement complaining that the act is so limited it would not help LPTV stations in 27 states. Arguing that it was “disrespectful to religious, minority, ethnic, veterans, local journalism and small businesses,” the group called on the House to amend the bill.  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.