Both the National Association of Broadcasters and a group called the Coalition for Free TV and Broadband are happy with moves made by members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Members of both parties have tied spectrum auctions to protections for broadcasters.
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith is scheduled to appear before the full committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Friday morning at an 8:30 session called “Legislative Hearing to Address Spectrum and Public Safety Issues.”
Commenting on a discussion draft issued by the committee, Smith said, “NAB is grateful for the leadership of Chairmen Upton and Walden, who have demonstrated time and again a recognition of the unique and positive role played by free and local television stations in communities across America. Under their proposed draft legislation to provide truly voluntary spectrum auctions, the clear intent of Congress would be to protect tens of millions of viewers relying exclusively on broadcast television against loss of service. NAB will work in a bipartisan basis with them and other lawmakers as Congress continues to debate incentive auction proposals.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition, which represents a cross-section of communications professionals and has a particular interest in low power TV, praised a bill from committee members John Dingell (D-MI) and Gene Green (D-TX) on similar grounds.
Rod Payne, spokesman for the group and community a broadcaster from Wichita Falls Texas stated: “We commend [Representatives Dingell & Green] for their work on this item and look forward to working with them and others in both the House and Senate to more carefully craft legislation that would go even further to provide for free, over the air broadcasting through a variety of services including the thousands of low power stations that serve so many communities in our nation.”
At the Friday morning hearing, Smith will be joined on the panel by CTIA’s Christopher Guttman-McCabe, San Jose Chief of Police Christopher Moore, and New American Foundation Senior Research Fellow Michael Calabrese.