We had hardly put the finishing touches on the above editorial when National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith noted that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler indicated he could be open to investigating ways to promote broadcast investment and innovation along the lines of a 2009 FCC effort to do the same with broadband.
This was in a speech to the Media Institute in Washington in which Smith took aim at the FCC’s broadband-centric policy focus.
The NAB chief also made a point worth repeating here about the current inside-the-Beltway mantra about the highest, best use of spectrum.
“Let me freely admit that if ‘highest and best use’ is determined only by the calculation of dollars and cents, or by how many gadgets and gizmos quickly mount up on the ash heap of our landfills, broadcasters will lose out in that calculation every time,” Smith said. “But,” he added, “if ‘highest and best use’ includes not only the advantages of our one-to-many architecture, but also the durable public values it serves—reliability, decency standards, children’s programming, news, weather, sports, localism and lifesaving information during times of crisis—broadcasters win every time.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, except for that part about the “decency standards.”