In a keynote address yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sounded a warning for mobile broadband users. “We’re threatened by a looming spectrum crunch,” Genachowski said. “This is the dark cloud around the silver lining.”
“The finest communications system in the world relies on both free, over-the-air broadcast television and high speed broadband services,” wrote Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.) in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Accordingly, I write today to state my view that spectrum policies will best serve the public if they allow for a continued and robust local broadcast television service along with broadband services.”
State associations also oppose any plan without an enforceable guarantee that broadcasters will be held harmless in all respects.
In the latest iteration of the battle between broadcasters and the wireless industry, the NAB released a study on Tuesday arguing that there is no spectrum “crisis.” According to NAB, the study shows “that insufficient analysis and reliance on faulty information in the formation of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan has led to the overstated assumption of a nationwide spectrum ‘crisis.’ “
Chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee and one-time radio broadcaster Greg Walden expesses doubt that the FCC plan for reclaiming broadcast spectrum is voluntary for broadcasters. He also joins broadcasters in calling for a spectrum inventory to determine whether taking back broadcast spectrum is truly necessary.