A group of eight agricultural organizations have fired off letters to the FCC and both congressional commerce committees calling for the preservation of what to them is critically important low power television and TV translator service.
They noted that their members’ line of work typically places them beyond the reach of America’s media markets. They said, “In rural and mountainous areas, local broadcast television is often the only communications infrastructure that connects our communities. Over-the-air broadcast television often serves as our lifeline – connecting farmers, ranchers and growers to more populated areas. Our members rely heavily on broadcast television for local public affairs rogramming, news, weather and emergency information.”
They continued, “Whether we are facing the harsh extremes of the Great Plains, or the rapidly fluctuating climate patterns of the Rocky Mountains, up-to-the-minute local weather forecasts and emergency alerts carried by broadcast television make a significant difference to the success of our agricultural industry, which each year contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to our nation’s economic output and employs more than 15 million individuals. It is also critical to the safety of the families that call our great American heartland home.”
In short, they do not want to see low power service gutted in the process of channel repacking and conducting incentive auctions of broadcast television spectrum.
“The Commission must carefully consider the significant negative impact of unnecessarily reallocating more spectrum than is necessary in rural America, especially on those viewers that receive broadcast television via a translator or other low-power television stations,” they stated.
Signing on to the letters were:
Association of Range Consultants
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Farmers Union
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
United States Cattlemen’s Association
Women Involved in Farm Economics