Religious broadcasters call FCC’s spectrum reclamation ‘unholy sacrifice’

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) charged last week that the FCC’s attempt to reclaim broadcast spectrum “may become an unholy sacrifice to satisfy new mobile device spectrum needs.”

Bob Powers, the NRB vice president of government relations, said broadcasters have already given up an “enormous amount” of spectrum in the switch to digital. He said he hoped the commission would look at “every avenue from which potential spectrum may come.”

While “alternate plans” for spectrum offer some protections for the major networks, Powers said hasn’t seen the same consideration for religious broadcasters.

The FCC has raised the possibility of reclaiming broadcast spectrum for mobile uses. Broadcasters would be compensated for the spectrum. The commission’s broadband advisor, Blair Levin, said the FCC is still in the conversation stage, with a range of alternatives in the mix.

However, Levin said that for America to catch up with mobile broadband, it requires more spectrum. That spectrum has to come from somewhere, and the FCC is talking with everyone to find an answer, he said.