Execs, Pols Brainstorm on Spectrum's Future


Broadcast spectrum policy has arguably never been as hot a topic in Washington as it is now.

The Association for Maximum Service Television is holding its one-day DTV/spectrum policy conference Oct. 5 at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington.

With two DTV transition bills ready to be teed up in the House and Senate over the next few weeks and Hill hearings on Hurricane Katrina-related spectrum issues almost tripping over each other, the timing couldn't have been better.

Also on the day's docket are former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley of Wiley, Rein & Fielding and broadcasters David Barrett, president & CEO, Hearst-Argyle Television; Elizabeth Murphy Burns, president, Morgan Murphy Stations; Gary Chapman, Chairman, president & CEO, LIN TV; and Martin Franks, executive VP, CBS Television, and FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy will keynote the conference. Also slated to weigh in on their respective efforts are FCC regulators and a number of key Hill communications staffers currently working on those DTV bills, which would establish the digital rules of the road, including a hard date for the return of analog spectrum.

MSTV is essentially the spectrum watchdog for broadcasters, so it is deeply involved in ensuring that the transition is as interference-free as possible, including arguing against authorizing the use of high-powered unlicensed devices too close to broadcasters' DTV allocations.