It comes as no surprise that NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith had kind words for the spectrum bill that came out of the House Communications Subcommittee 12/1/11 – he had praised it earlier in the week. The good thing about the bill is that despite its lack of bipartisan support, the sticking points did not greatly involve the broadcast television elements.
Smith said, “NAB strongly endorses spectrum provisions in the incentive auction bill passed out of the House telecommunications subcommittee today. This bill balances sound spectrum policy with protections against the potential considerable loss of local TV service by millions of Americans.”
A major concern of many broadcasters and legislators operating near the US borders was the challenge of finding new homes for television stations with limited places to move due to international spectrum treaties, an item dealt with by amendment. Smith said, “We appreciate Chairman Walden’s outstanding leadership in shepherding this legislation through the subcommittee. NAB also salutes Reps. Bilbray and Dingell for their amendment — passed with bipartisan unanimity — ensuring that U.S. TV stations along the Canadian and Mexican borders aren’t repacked out of business.
Smith concluded, “NAB’s position on TV spectrum auctions remains unchanged: We support them so long as they are truly voluntary, and so long as TV stations that choose to remain in business are held harmless.”