Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with a simple message: “I strongly urge you to ensure that spectrum auction repacking does not negatively impact television translators and low-power television stations.
The reason is simple: “Translators and LPTVs are vital to the mountainous and rural areas in my district in Southwest Oregon, where terrain and distance present unique challenges for over-the-air reception.”
DeFazio explained that in his district, receiving a full power television station signal is difficult, and translators are there to get the job done. And it’s an important job.
“Without translators and LPTVs,” DeFazio explained, “many of my constituents would be unable to access weather warnings, emergency alerts, or other crucial information that keeps them connected to the rest of the State and the country.”
He noted that the emergency alert function of broadcast television is particularly critical to citizens in his district which is subject to the ravages of tsunamis.
He further explained that many of the stations are owned by very small, often non-profit entities that do not necessarily have the financial resources to pick up and move to a new channel.
“Rural and mountainous areas should not be left in the dark as a result of spectrum repacking. I urge the FCC to make it a priority to preserve access to quality over-the-air television no matter where a person lives,” he concluded.