The two groups are joined by three others in a letter to the congressional Super Committee charged with reducing the federal deficit, asking it to reject a provision in the jobs bill that would empower the FCC to impose more than $4 billion in new spectrum user fees over 10 years.
Broadcasters and wireless operators may be at odds over spectrum auctions, but they are allies in their opposition to spectrum fees.
In a joint letter to the Super Committee that is looking to trim $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit through cost cutting and revenue raising, the leading lobbies for the two industries — the NAB and CTIA-The Wireless Association — along with three other trade groups today asked the panel not to adopt a provision of the President Obama’s jobs bill that would empower the FCC to impose more than $4 billion in new spectrum user fees over 10 years.
“This legislation ignores the considerable annual regulatory fees already borne by our respective industries and the tens of billions of dollars in private capital expended annually by wireless, satellite and commercial, non-commercial and public radio operators alike to build networks and invest in the infrastructure necessary to serve the American public,” the letter says.
The spectrum users are acutely aware of the country’s economic problems, it says. “We do not believe, however, that the solution to unemployment lies in the imposition of new fees and taxes that will inevitably shift money from much needed capital investment in state-of-the-art communications technologies critical to the health of the American economy.”
Also signing on to the letter were the Satellite Industry Association, National Religious Broadcasters and PCIA — The Wireless Infrastructure Foundation.
The bipartisan Super Committee comprises 12 members of the Congress — six senators and six representatives. It is also considering authorizing the FCC to auction spectrum that broadcasters agree to give up for a share of the proceeds.
The committee sees it as another source of badly needed revenue. While the wireless industry favors the auction, most broadcasters fear that another disruption of the TV band would cause irreparable harm to the medium, even if participation in the auction is voluntary.