Policy

Mark Fowler: FCC's Broadband Bias Comes at Expense of Broadcasting

Former Chair Takes Aim at FCC in Op Ed 1/24/2014 11:28 AM Eastern

 

In a piece penned for The Wall Street Journal, former Republican FCC chairman Mark Fowler (under President Ronald Reagan), said the commission has appeared indifferent to broadcasting and its focus on broadband has "pushed to the side any other use for spectrum."

Echoing many of the arguments the National Association of Broadcasters has been making, Fowler said the FCC should put down the "broadband pompoms" long enough to adopt a more "realistic vision" of the public benefits of broadcasting, from emergency communications to its one-to-many architecture, and to stop discounting the growing audience (cord cutters) for over the air TV.

The FCC should not bow to "German and Japanese-owned" T-Mobile or Sprint, he said, in their push to restrict the amount of spectrum AT&T and Verizon can purchase, he said, under the "guise" of competition.

"The FCC should dispense with its usual spectrum prejudices before the 2015 auction," he wrote.

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