Broadcast organizations comment on NBP


In a joint filing, NAB and MSTV pledged “full and constructive participation” in proceedings associated with the National Broadband Plan. At the same time, they discounted filings by wireless and retail electronics organizations seeking access to broadcast television spectrum.

NAB/MSTV noted that suggestions from CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) were constructive, but that the plans they suggested for cramming television signals into a low-power distributed transmission system (DTS) were infeasible.

“Coverage gaps are the unavoidable consequence of trying to use a fill-in technology such as DTS as an across-the-board substitute” for the current deliver system of over-the-air DTV, the broadcast groups explained.

The organizations also said that CTIA/CEA underestimated implementation costs while overestimating the spectrum yield the plan would produce.

NAB/MSTV sided with DOJ’s call for greater use of secondary spectrum markets, and NTIA’s call for a full inventory of spectrum. However, they challenged the common assumption, shared by DOJ and NTIA, that a spectrum shortfall is waiting in the near future.

“[T]here is no necessary nexus between allocating additional spectrum and increased broadband deployment and use. Many countries with higher broadband usage rates than the United States have less spectrum allocated for broadband purposes,” NAB and MSTV said.

The duo noted that broadcast plans to greatly expand service to mobile devices will make far  more efficient use of spectrum than “wireless point-to-point technology.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Until there is a full accounting of all spectrum, occupied and available, a land grab into broadcast television’s’ portion should be off the table. And you know what? After there is a full accounting, broadcast television’s portion should STILL be off the table.

Broadcasters have already invested heavily in modernization under the DTV transition. At the same time, they are trying to operate their businesses in a tough economy and in the face in ever-increasing competition. It is a matter of simple fairness that they be given an opportunity to put their new government-mandated digital capability to competitive use.