Washington

Ohio Reps Ask FCC to Protect Their TV Stations

Concerned about coordination with Canada in run-up to incentive auctions 3/01/2013 02:25:55 PM Eastern

The FCC continues to hear from legislators
concerned about frequency coordination negotiations with Canada and Mexico related to the FCC's
spectrum incentive auctions.

The
latest comes in a letter Thursday from Ohio House members.

"As
you implement the incentive auction, [which was mandated by Congress], we ask
that you pay close attention to our Ohio constituents and
their access local broadcast television services." They point out there
are over a million over-the-air only homes in Ohio alone. They are
particularly concerned with potential loss of service in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown from frequency
coordination with Canadian broadcasters.

The
legislators point out that stations in those Ohio markets already have
coordination challenges with U.S. markets like Detroit and Erie.

They
said that while the U.S. should have fast
broadband, it also needs innovative broadcasters. They acknowledge a spectrum
crunch, but also say it is of the "utmost" importance that free local
TV stations remain on the air after the auction.

To
check out all their concerns, click here.

Last
month, a trio of Washington State Democrats also warned about Canadian border
issues
,
while some Massachusetts congressfolk expressed their border concerns last fall.

In
an interview with B&C/Multichannel News in December, Gary Epstein, senior
adviser and co-lead on the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force, said the FCC
would address the border issues before it votes on a final auction framework,
though he pointed out the statute does not require that. He also said the plan
was flexible enough to "accommodate differences in spectrum along the
border if we actually need it."

September
October