The National Association of Broadcasters is already on record as being unconvinced that proposed changes in midstream by the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology are wise; now it argues they are a step backward, and further, that a freeze on modifications may be doing immediate harm.
In an ex parte meeting with Commissioner Ajit Pai staffers Matthew Berry and Courtney Reinhard, NAB said that according to its analysis, software changes being proposed under OET-69 are in fact less accurate than current methodology.
Secondly, NAB noted that the new software was only being suggested for station repacking, begging the question, if it’s so good, why isn’t it being used for all purposes going forward?
NAB also argued that there was no basis to the argument that the new software was more efficient, noting that there was no material difference between new and old regimes.
It was also brought to the attention that a 4/5/13 freeze on station modifications, including those that had already been filed, is creating uncertainty in the marketplace, is causing manufacturers to lay off staff, and in the case of Dielectic, leading to the company’s complete exit from the business.
The Dielectric exit is especially worrisome, since it will create a lack of supply for television antennae and make if difficult if not impossible to keep the channel repacking project on track.
NAB said all the FCC is doing is flirting with delay and causing uncertainty. It asked the Commission to drop the change in software and to let station modifications proceed.