Local Broadcasters: TV Is Highest, Best Use Of Spectrum

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A consortium of TV groups filing jointly have told the Federal Communications Commission where to go for spectrum -- which is somewhere else.

In their filing at the FCC, which requested comments--due Dec. 21--on how it might reclaim some broadcast spectrum, 24 groups representing a whopping 226 TV stations large and small, said that broadcast TV "represents the highest and best use of the spectrum in the public interest."

To be able to innovate, serve the public and remain competitive, broadcasters need all their spectrum, they said. "The channel-sharing and service area reductions contemplated in the Public Notice would take this ability away from broadcasters and likely result in widespread viewer reception difficulties," they argued.

Broadcasting is the most efficient way to deliver popular programming, they said, echoing the National Association of Broadcasters' argument that the one-to-many model trumps wireless telephones one-to-one communications. The FCC is seeking spectrum for wireless broadband, and has argued that broadband and TV video delivery are merging.¨

"The Local Television Broadcasters urge the Commission to avoid coercive measures and instead provide all FCC licensees with ample flexibility to respond to technological innovation and consumer demand, which will continue to change in ways none can predict," they said.

The FCC is looking to free up more spectrum as part of its national broadband plan, due to Congress Feb. 17. While broadcasters argue they need to hold onto their spectrum, wireless phone and computer companies say they have to get more spectrum from somewhere and broadcasters are a prime target.

Broadcast groups represented in the filing: Allbritton Communications Company; Bahakel Communications, Ltd.; Boise Telecasters, LP; Cocola Broadcasting Companies, LLC; Communications Corporation of America; Evening Post Publishing Company; GOCOM Media of Illinois; Granite Broadcasting Corporation; Gray Television, Inc.; Lilly Broadcasting, LLC; Local TV, LLC; Malara Broadcast Group, Inc.; McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company; Media General; Inc.; Meredith Corporation; National Communications, LLC; New Vision Television; LLC Parkin Broadcasting, LLC; SJL Broadcast Management Corporation; Smith Media, LLC; SP Television LLC; Tribune Company; White Knight Broadcasting, Inc.; WNAC, LLC.