Advisory committee asks FCC to defend public broadcasting


The FCC Consumer Advisory Committee has come down in favor of noncommercial broadcasting, and points out that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is an important source of income for such stations. It is urging the FCC to go to bat for CPB whenever the opportunity arises in its dealings with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

The measure was adopted minus the votes of a few committee members. The NAB, two other trade associations, a big cable company and two telecom companies abstained from the vote.

The resolution, released over the name of committee Chairperson Debra R. Berlyn, reads as follows:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) provides meaningful financial support for qualified television and radio stations that already are on the air. CPB is authorized to facilitate the full development of noncommercial radio and television services airing free and high-quality local, national and international news, public affairs programming, diversity of opinion, public safety alerts, and children’s programming and a wide array of cultural content.

A loss or significant reduction of federal funds to CPB would impact – negatively and dramatically – all currently funded stations, causing reductions in programming and services to local communities and, in some cases, leading to stations going off the air. Such impacts would be of nationwide scope, and particularly acute in rural, tribal, native, and disability communities.

THEREFORE, the Consumer Advisory Committee recommends that the Federal Communications Commission, in its interaction with the Administration and with the Congress, support continued federal funding of CPB so as to enable CPB to continue its support for public broadcast stations, including those providing service to rural, tribal, native, and disability communities.

The abstaining entities included Consumer Electronics Association, CTIA – The Wireless Association, National Association of Broadcasters, Time Warner Cable, T-mobile, and Verizon.