In its comments on the FCC’s inquiry, it says: “Predictions of severe spectrum shortfall are predicated on wireless carriers maintaining and increasing their highly inefficient spectrum use, including the assumption that mobile networks will be used to carry a significant amount of traffic that is not mobile at all.” The group owner also makes the case for deregulation of broadcasting, arguing that shedding ownership caps and other regulations would allow broadcasters to use their spectrum more efficiently.
Commenting on the FCC inquiry on broadband-access policy, LIN Television challenged the assertion of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and others that the nation is facing a “looming spectrum crisis” in which demand for wireless broadband spectrum will outstrip supply.
“If there ever is an actual shortfall, it will likely affect only small geographic areas, and those areas will be the most heavily provisioned with alternative broadband infrastructure — fiber, copper, fixed wireless, unlicensed wireless and nomadic wireless access — in the entire country.”
The FCC inquiry is aimed at coming up with ways to insure wider, cheaper, faster broadband access. Among other things, it is exploring whether it makes sense to reallocate some broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use.
LIN also said that industry proponents of reallocation should also be “more candid.”
CTIA, which represents wireless providers, “uses free, unlicensed WiFi traffic statistics to supports its argument that wireless carriers are running out of spectrum,” the station group said.
“CTIA uses incomplete statistics to claim that U.S. carriers are among the most efficient in the world, when the U.S. actually has vastly more allocated mobile wireless spectrum than nine of the top 10 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations when population density is considered.”
“Predictions of severe spectrum shortfall are predicated on wireless carriers maintaining and increasing their highly inefficient spectrum use, including the assumption that mobile networks will be used to carry a significant amount of traffic that is not mobile at all.”
LIN also used the inquiry to make the case for deregulation of broadcasting, arguing that shedding ownership caps and other regulations would allow broadcasters to use their spectrum more efficiently.
“LIN has invested heavily to deploy more efficient systems and technologies, but the FCC’s spectrum caps — its ownership limits — unduly restrict LIN’s ability to achieve operating efficiencies enjoyed by large mobile carriers,” it said.
“The FCC’s ownership rules have balkanized television broadcasting. However effective those rules might have been decades ago, when competition was limited and innovation was rare, they are profoundly counterproductive today, when competition is fierce and innovation is expected.
“The best way for the FCC to help broadcasters transition to new technologies and use spectrum more efficiently is to lift regulations. Deregulation will lead directly and quickly to substantial gains in the quality, amount and accessibility of free television broadcast services to the American public.”
The regulations put broadcasters are a disadvantage to wireless service providers, LIN says.
“Beyond disparate FCC regulations, there is little to distinguish a broadcast service provider and a wireless service provider in their ability to deploy new technologies or adopt new business models to meet changing demands and expectations.”