Time for a short trip down memory lane: First with TV’s commercial birth, the FCC had just VHF TV assignments. Then after the early 1950’s TV freeze, UHF was added to the mix with channels 14-83 available. Most stations were in the lower to middle frequencies. However, the channels in the 70s and 80s were seen as the TV stations available as the US population grew, etc. It was a good plan as it actually had an over the horizon strategy that anticipated the future TV needs of Americans.
Fast forward to the 1980s and beyond, the FCC chops TV channels 70-83 out of the TV assignments & cellular phone service is born. A good tradeoff between needs and spectrum.
Next up was the DTV repacking and the next chop off of channels 52-69, as cell phones exploded and the FCC needed a quick way to launch and expand a new service.
Both times the TV industry was compliant and went along with the GRAND plan and the greater good.
Now the FCC wants to grab channels 46 thru 51 via the National Broadband Plan and this time it is not such a great idea. The FCC needs to rethink its priorities on this. Television has given America a huge payback over the decades. We get news, entertainment, disaster recovery, sports, educational content, local content and on and on.
Cable TV is a utility just as cell phones and ISPs. They give us no public service or extra community involvement. They are oligopolies and give you a bill each month.
But the big payback for TV is the multiplier effect on local economies. Put a car dealer or lumberyard on TV and within days there is a response and over time solid sales increases. What media can deliver this economic effect week after week, client after client? None I am aware of.
The FCC has a very large amount of frequencies to administer and it needs to pick on some other sector for more broadband capacity. TV has delivered two times now and the FCC needs to dig deeper and let TV grow, prosper and develop their subchannels, etc. Leave TV spectrum alone and do not push TV over the edge into a trivial afterthought.
General Sales Mgr.
CANNY Inc. (Cable Ad Net New York)