MSTV’s Donovan defends TV turf


Association of Maximum Service Television President David Donovan pledged to work closely with the FCC in implementing the National Broadband Plan – and he pledged to make sure that over-the-air digital television is a major component going forward. Further, he criticized the notion that broadcasters who opt to use their full 6 MHz slot might be hit with “onerous spectrum fees and other indirectly coercive measures.”

Donovan said that the FCC’s proposal to encourage channel sharing risks “stranding millions of viewers.”

Spectrum is the big issue where broadcasters are concerned, and Donovan pointed out that television uses only 5% of the “beachfront” spectrum that the FCC is interested in. “With the enactment of spectrum inventory legislation,” Donovan wrote, “we will work with the [FCC] to identify spectrum options for wireless broadband.”

Donovan also noted that the most vexing issue concerning universal availability of broadband was providing service to rural areas. “MSTV also renews its pledge to work with the FCC on the immediate steps it can take to deploy licensed wireless broadband services in rural areas on unused channels now allocated to television broadcasting.”

At the same time, he pledged to defend the “multi-billion dollar investment recently made by consumers in digital television sets and converter boxes…”

He concluded, “As local wireless digital providers, television broadcasters are already an important component in the nation’s overall wireless ecosystem. Our point to multipoint service is the most efficient way to deliver high quality wireless video simultaneously to millions of customers. Moreover, the broadcasting industry is ready to deploy mobile video services this year, which will further enhance wireless service to American consumers.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Commissioner Robert McDowell correctly pointed out at the FCC Open Meeting that the release of the NBP constitutes a beginning, not an end. Broadcasters will have to be steadfast and unified in the defense of their competitive position in the wireless media world of the future.