Louis Libin, executive director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA) testified before the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee on behalf of Low Power Television (LPTV) Broadcasters and Viewers. The 7/24 hearing on the proposed LPTV and Translator Preservation Act of 2014 is a significant step in the process to inform the FCC and the Congress that LPTV and Translators are important to the communications infrastructure of our country.
LPTV service was created in the early 1980’s to enhance diversity by allowing more unique “voices” to provide free, over-the-air television service. More than 5,000 LPTV and Translator stations provide television service to tens of millions of Americans. In many places, these stations are the only broadcast television service available, and in many other cases, they provide communities their only access to the affiliates of major broadcast networks.
“A third or more of LPTV and Translator stations are now at risk of being shut down by the FCC as it conducts the incentive auction,” testified Libin. “The FCC could eliminate LPTV and translator stations just for the sake of running the auction faster or with less precise calculations, or for the sake of completing the auction in less than half of the ten years Congress authorized. And that is what the FCC is doing. It has adopted rules that run the auction at a breakneck speed with, literally, no consideration at all of the impact on citizens served by LPTV and translator services. The rules reallocate LPTV spectrum to wireless carriers without assigning any value at all to the LPTV and translator services that would be eliminated.“