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Public TV on defensive in spectrum spat - Broadcasting & Cable

Public TV on defensive in spectrum spat

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Public stations Wednesday let lawmakers know they think broadcasters can help
solve the safety-spectrum crunch -- before giving up any spectrum.

Several public TV stations are partnering with local officials to beef up
emergency-alert systems.

Datacasting networks being tested in Kentucky, Dallas, Las Vegas, New Jersey,
New York City and Nashville, Tenn., allow officials to install digital-TV tuner cards in PCs to
create what are essentially interference-free private networks for transmitting
emergency communications.

"Public television -- using its existing digital spectrum -- can play a
unique role in meeting the needs of first responders," John Lawson, president of
the Association of Public Television Stations, said in a written statement
submitted for the House Telecommunications Subcommittee's hearing on the public-safety-spectrum shortage.

During the hearing, some lawmakers blamed broadcasters for perpetuating the
spectrum crunch and for not relinquishing analog spectrum more
quickly.

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