COMMENTARY

Mark Fowler: FCC Guilty Of ‘Broadband Bias’

The former FCC chairman writes in The Wall Street Journal: "For the past five years, the FCC has cheered wireless broadband as the future of communications. But television broadcasters have much of the spectrum that wireless companies want. So the FCC has intervened to reassign chunks of spectrum from one group to another — and its broadband bias comes at the expense of broadcasters." WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.


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Gregg Palermo says:

January 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I imagine the same arguments were made in the 1920s when autos replaced horses.

Ellen Samrock says:

January 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

FCC guilty of broadband bias? Gee, you think so? Fowler, of course, is right. The FCC needs to put down the “broadband pompoms” and take a realistic view as to the benefits of broadcasting: emergency communications and the one-to-many architecture (which is far more efficient than one-to-one internet streaming). Proposals for the ATSC 3.0 standard clearly show that broadcast television’s best years are yet ahead and that OTA can grow and adapt to whatever the consumer needs and uses both now and in the future. Unfortunately, Mark Fowler is a Republican who served as chairman under the GOP glory years of Ronald Reagan. As such he will be largely ignored by an FCC controlled by a radical left administration; an administration that blames Fox among others for its low poll numbers. What better way to teach conservative broadcasters like Fox and Sinclair a lesson then by threatening their existence, marginalizing them as squatters on valuable property. We have commissioners like Rosenworcel painting rosy pictures of 100 mbps download speeds for everyone if only broadcasters would get out of the way. Never mind that the telcos poised to purchase reclaimed broadcast spectrum will be charging plenty for its use, threatening oppressive data caps and forcing consumers into higher-priced plans. Like Obamacare, that 100 mbps will come at a high cost to consumers, despite any promises to the contrary. Broadcast television can help keep these costs down but you’ll never hear that from an FCC controlled by the current administration.

Bobbi Proctor says:

January 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

When I see a couple of teenagers talked to each other on their cell phones when they are just a few feet apart I think what a waste of spectrum when the FCC is about ready to further destroy over-the-air television. The second loss of frequencies (channels 51-69) resulted in increased interference and the further loss of frequencies will cause even more. More people are rediscovering reception of television via antennas and watching over-the-air as well as online with cable subscriptions going down. We rely on our local stations for emergency information. Even when the lights go out we have our battery powered digital TV to watch for critical weather information. You won’t get that via cable or the internet.


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