Dan Boren (D-OK) is the latest member of the House of Representatives to request that the hunt for television spectrum for repurposing does no harm whatsoever to television broadcasters. Boren specifically mentions problems with Senate spectrum bill S.911.
In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Boren said he supports the concept of incentive auctions, but said the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough in protecting television service. He said that the industry is tied to $1.17T in GDP, as well as to 2.52M jobs.
There are four areas that any legislation should take into account, wrote Boren.
* It must make sure that no station that elects to stay in business loses any coverage area.
* No broadcasters should be bumped from the UHF to the VHF band.
* There should be one and only one incentive auction to provide market certainty.
* The economic impact and consequences of station relocation must be addressed
Saying many of his constituents rely on OTA television, Boren concluded, “I believe it is essential to protect television viewers throughout a voluntary auction process. Thank you for your attention to these matters and I look forward to addressing them as legislation moves to the House floor.”
RBR-TVBR observatiion: That last comment is telling, and underscores what makes Boren’s letter unusual. You can almost bet your paycheck that a letter making the rounds in Washington on a given topic come from a legislator on the committee that has jurisdiction over the issue at hand. That is not the case this time – Boren’s committee assignments deal with intelligence and natural resources. It’s good to know that legislators who will not see anything on spectrum until it clears committee already have broadcasters’ backs.