Noncommercial broadcasters tell the FCC that they are opposed to any scheme that would “diminish access to broadcast services in the name of improving access to broadband services.”
The noncommercial broadcasting community is united in its opposition to any FCC plan that would reallocate their broadcast TV spectrum for broadband use.
Comments filed today by the PBS, CPB and the Association of Public Television Stations raised serious objections to any proposal that would “diminish access to broadcast services in the name of improving access to broadband services.”
The FCC is seeking comments as part of its inquiry into improving broadband access to the internet.
It’s been suggested that TV broadcasters relinquish most of their spectrum to help meet the nation’s demand for more spectrum for wireless broadband services.
“This approach would be impractical, attempting to address the broadband challenge through the undoing of the hard-won successes of the transition to digital television, rather than pursuing a strategy to advance the public’s interest in universal access to both platforms,” says the public television groups’s comments.
According to the public broadcasters: “Taking over-the-air television away from a community undermines the promise of universal service to that community; this is a promise upon which public television and PBS are founded — that is, that regardless of a household’s financial resources or geographic location, it can receive a unique and robust noncommercial service, including children’s educational programming. The free, over-the-air broadcast platform — with its unparalleled reach at no cost to consumers — is uniquely able to deliver on this promise.”
They also expressed their dislike for the idea of two or more TV stations sharing a single 6 MHz channel.
Such a regime, they wrote would “substantially decrease the nature and amount of educational, cultural, and information programming and services provided by PBS and public television stations, preclude the development of new services like mobile DTV programming for children, and potentially curtail use of the public television infrastructure for the delivery of digital alert and warning systems by the federal government and state and local emergency management officials.”