In an FCC filing, a coalition of TV stations group led by LIN, Nexstar and Sinclair challenged the claim that broadcast TV spectrum is being used inefficiently and should be reallocated and auctioned to wireless broadband operators.
A coalition of TV stations group led by LIN, Nexstar and Sinclair challenged the claim that TV broadcasting spectrum is being used inefficiently and should be reallocated and auctioned to wireless broadband operators.
“Broadcasting services bring vast efficiencies to our national communications infrastructure through their ability to serve ‘one to many’ in small bandwidth segments, and those efficiencies cannot be achieved in any other way,” the station groups say in comments on broadband access in which the reallocate-and-auction idea has been advanced.
“The robustness of broadcast reception and use is not affected whether there are 100 viewers or 100,000 viewers, unlike contention access platforms such as mobile wireless, on which service is seriously degraded or even lost as the number of users increases,” the broadcasters say.
“At bottom, the reclamation proponent’s proposals are anti-competitive and intended to make consumers pay for many of the services they now get for the most advantageous price: free.”
The coalition also includes Pappas Telecasting, MPS Media, Manship Media and New Age Media. The comments were prepared by John Hane of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
Their voices in opposition to reallocation will be added to those of other broadcasters who submitted comments last week: the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association of Maximum Service Television, which filed jointly, and another coalition of station groups including Media General, Gray Television, Meredith Broadcasting and Allbritton.
The LIN-Nexstar-led coalition also argues that their efficiency will grow as broadcasters introduce mobile DTV and entrepreneurs find more innovative ways to use the spectrum.
The coalition cites new TiVo DVRs with broadcast tuners and Sezmi, which is leasing broadcast spectrum to provide a wireless cable service.
“Sezmi has focused on making ATSC easier to receive and to use, and plans to pack even more television service into existing broadcast channels,” it says.
“To unlock the unique delivery efficiency of ATSC broadcast, Sezmi created a ‘smart reception system’ that provides “cutting-edge indoor reception.”
Rather than reallocating broadcast spectrum, it says, the FCC should allow broadcasters to use their spectrum even more efficiently by relaxing the station ownership rules and jettisoning “archaic” technical rules.
“Ownership limits make it impossible for any broadcast licensee to launch a new, coast-to-coast service, and the ownership and technical rules prevent anyone from using broadcast spectrum to introduce a game-changing service in any local market,” the coalition claims.