Minority congressional leaders go to bat for broadcast TV


U.S. CongressLegislators are all for adding more spectrum for wireless broadband, but many do not want to find it at the expense of local broadcast television, including low power outlets. That includes Congressional Tri-Caucus leaders representing Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Pacific Americans.

The legislators made their points in a letter for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Signing the letter were Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) and Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX).

“As you know well,” they wrote, “our constituents are more dependent on broadcast television than the general population, including relying heavily on Class A and and low power television (LPTV) broadcasters. This makes it particularly important to us that the FCC implement these auctions in a way that ensures our constituents have uninterrupted access to their local broadcast stations.”

According to the reps, 28% of Asian homes, 26% of Latino homes and 23% of African-American homes rely on OTA television; and it rises to 33% among Spanish-speaking Hispanic households.

“Given the dependence that our communities palce on broadcast television, including Class A and LPTV, maintain a robust free and local broadcasting system must remain a priority for the FCC,” they said. The urged the FCC to work with all concerned parties in an open and transparent manner to this end.