Barton: Local TV Has Had Tough Time
Decision on giving up spectrum will likely be 'purely economic decision'
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/14/2012 12:36:50 PM
In an interview for C-SPAN's Communicators series, Barton would not speculate on how successful the FCC's spectrum reclamation auction would be in terms of attracting broadcasters to give up spectrum.
"I think that is going to be a purely economic decision on a case-by-case basis. Each local station decides whether it's better to keep it and try to get value out of current of future uses or whether to let it go and monetize that."
The FCC is currently circulating a draft framework for those auctions and the repacking of stations that stay in the business. How well the FCC protects the signal integrity and coverage of those broadcasters who decide to stay in business will be a factor in determining who makes that decision.
Barton says he would give the Obama Administration an "incomplete" grade on freeing up more spectrum for wireless broadband.
The former chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee says the fact that they acknowledge that something needs to be done is a good thing. He also conceded that it is hard to get spectrum back from people who are using it, in either the public or private sector.
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