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NY Senators Seek State Department Help in Spectrum Coordination With Canada - Broadcasting & Cable

NY Senators Seek State Department Help in Spectrum Coordination With Canada

Say FCC could use the help to insure border stations are protected and sufficient spectrum is freed up
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New York's senators want the
State Department to intervene "at a very high level" to insure the
success of coordination between Canada and the U.S. over spectrum issues
related to the upcoming spectrum incentive auctions. While they concede that
the FCC has traditionally taken the lead, they want State to add its firepower.

In
a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry,
Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said the goal should be for
Americans along the Canadian border to continue receiving the TV broadcasts
they get now and also to free up "significant amounts of spectrum."

They
point out that since, by treaty, both the U.S. and Canada must protect stations
within 250 miles of the border from interference, that could limit the number
of channels available for the FCC to repack after the auction, either
potentially reducing the coverage of existing stations or reducing the amount
of spectrum that can be reclaimed for auction.

Both
alternatives are equally unpleasant, they said. They also said that New York is particularly
vulnerable with Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Plattsburg and Watertown all within the 250
mile zone. "The ripple effect could affect Albany and New York City, they argue.

That
National Association of Broadcasters has long argued that that coordination
with Canada -- and Mexico -- is key and needs to
happen sooner rather than later.
The senators agree. "Time is of the essence," they told Kerry.

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