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NAB Chief Calls Spectrum Speculation 'Troubling'

On Monday the National Association of Broadcasters sent the Chairmen and Ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee a letter calling their attention to spectrum hoarding by Dish Network and Time Warner.

In the letter, NAB President and CEO, Gordon Smith said, "The pattern of spectrum speculation from Time Warner Cable and Dish Network is especially troubling given that the FCC's National Broadband Plan (NBP) proclaimed a year ago that there is a 'looming spectrum crisis.'"

Smith noted that authors of the NBP suggested that local TV stations (who have already given up 108 MHz of spectrum less than two years ago) needed to give back another 120 MHz "to help 'solve' the alleged crisis."

In support of its argument, NAB attached articles from Communications Daily and Seeking Alpha citing Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen's comments on spectrum acquisitions.

The Seeking Alpha article includes this quote from the 2010 Q3 earnings conference call regarding Dish's 700 MHz spectrum:

"It is, as it turns out, a pretty good inflation hedge, and they're not making any more of that spectrum. If we're not able to strategically do something with that spectrum, then there are probably other people who are able to do that."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.