A testimonial to the value and importance of local broadcasting has been delivered on the floor of the US House of Representatives and entered into the Congressional Record by Doris O. Matsui (D-CA), who represents citizens of Sacramento CA.
Here are Matsui’s full remarks:
Every day, our nation’s broadcasters serve communities across the country by providing the news and entertainment we rely on to get though our day. Whether it is an update on what is happening in the world, educational programming, or a review of a movie opening that weekend, most Americans turn to broadcasters for news on issues big and small.
This is especially true for local broadcasters. These broadcasters provide the public with the news that’s is most important, and most useful for them, because it is the news from their own communities. This is true in Sacramento and across the nation. Our broadcasters play an integral role in Sacramentans day-to-day lives, informing all of us about everything from local traffic to an in-depth look at local political matters.
Local broadcasters play a particularly important role in times of an emergency. In Sacramento, we continue to experience drought-like weather conditions, as well as heavy rains that bring with them the threat of flooding. Unfortunately, the entire state of California is susceptible to a number of natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, and –- of course – flooding. It is essential that residents have access to local emergency broadcasts, so that they have the public safety information they need when a disaster strikes.
And the role of broadcasters goes beyond disseminating information to the public. They have also played an important part in growing and investing in our nation’s airwaves. The spectrum sharing agreement that the broadcasters entered into with the Department of Defense helped solidify the Federal Communications Commission’s recent record breaking spectrum auction of the AWS-3 band. This spectrum auction generated nearly $45 billion in revenue, enough to fully fund FirstNet, the nationwide interoperability network for America’s first responders and public safety officials.
Broadcasters play an important role in our country. I want to applaud the work of broadcasters, particularly in Sacramento, for working diligently to cover and provide local news programming to our communities, and for being strong community partners.