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NAB Outlines Spectrum Policy for White House - Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Outlines Spectrum Policy for White House

Smith tells Economic Policy Council he favors "holistic" approach
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National
Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith outlined the association's
spectrum policy in a letter Monday to Lawrence Summers, director of the White
House's Economic Policy Council.

Summers
weighed in with the administration's support for the FCC's spectrum reclamation
proposals in a speech to the New America Foundation June 28
. Smith told Summers that he thought a
"holistic" approach to spectrum policy could find spectrum to
repurpose without compromising broadcasters' ability to deliver a robust
service to viewers.

Smith
said he had no problem with incentive auctions that were truly voluntary, but
said that any spectrum policy must make sure that 1) viewers still have access
to broadcast digital offerings including multicast channels and mobile DTV; 2)
that stations who do not give up spectrum do not suffer reduced coverage or
signal degradation and interference; 3) viewers must be able to benefit from
innovative new uses of broadcast spectrum by broadcasters themselves, including
on-demand programming and 3DTV; and 4) broadcasters should not be charged a
user fee for remaining on their spectrum.

The
3DTV argument is not one that has surfaced much in broadcaster arguments
over why they need to keep their over-the-air spectrum, probably
because broadcasters have not yet figured out how they are going to deliver
3DTV in the 6 Mhz they have. But for some stations, not giving up spectrum
could be a hedge on a future where 3D becomes a priority rather than a
novelty.

"We
stand ready to work constructively through a fact-based process that remains
truly voluntary and founded upon the engineering realities of sound spectrum
management," Smith said.

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