NAB's Gordon Smith battling for TV on the Hill


As a former Senator of recent vintage, NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith still has a lot of friends, people he served with, working on Capitol Hill the hard way – at the pleasure of the voters. He is now using that to his advantage to protect television’s hold on its own vital spectrum.

Smith recently emerged from the cooling off period during which former members of Congress are required to refrain from lobbying their former colleagues.

According to the Washington Post, he is ready to put his experience to good use making the case for allowing television to develop in the digital age, alongside the continued growth of emerging broadband and mobile technologies.

Smith believes that the question isn’t one or the other – that both services can and should exist side-by-side.
He is also well aware that broadcasters invested heavily in making the digital transition one of the most successful communications mass-migrations since wireless was invented, and that television broadcasters are only beginning to develop the possibility of their new digital plants.

Mobile television and digital side channels are just some of the things that are being developed, and American consumers are already taking note. A flurry of articles have been written recently noting the new trend of cord cutting, exemplified by consumers who cancel their cable or satellite service because they are able to get all they need from broadcasters and the internet.

Smith told the Washington Post that his main objective for the moment is simply to get Congress to ease up on the accelerator. “Let’s consider all the facts first,” he said. “We need an inventory of what other spectrum is available. We need to really see if there is a spectrum crisis.”