NAB offers to work with the White House on spectrum


NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith has told the Obama Administration that broadcasters have “no quarrel” with incentive auctions that are truly voluntary and called for a “holistic approach to spectrum policy.” But he said there are flaws in the FCC’s “arbitrary goal of reallocating 120 MHz of spectrum” away from broadcast television.

Smith wrote to Lawrence Summers, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic policy. In the letter, which is available on this page as a pdf, Smith outlined four principles that he said future spectrum policy must ensure:

• Americans must maintain access to digital offerings currently provided by television broadcasters.

• Americans must not lose access to broadcast television based on signal strength degradations or limitations.

• Free TV viewers must continue to be beneficiaries of video innovation.

• Americans must not lose quality local TV because of new spectrum taxes.

“Our goal is simple: to work collaboratively on a two-track strategy that accomplishes the Administration’s goals without compromising the future of America’s robust and reliable digital television service that remains free, local and ubiquitous,” Smith wrote.
RBR-TVBR observation: The FCC put the cart before the horse by proposing to grab 120 MHz from TV before conducting an inventory of just how spectrum is being used and – more importantly – how much is unused or underutilized. That is just now getting underway.