Washington -- The National Association of Broadcasters and
the Association for Maximum Service Television accentuated the positive in a
letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski Monday following the commission's
engineering forum last week on how to reclaim spectrum for wireless broadband.
During that forum, engineers from Fox and CBS both talked
about the costs and potential competitive disadvantages of commission proposals
to get broadcasters to reduce their spectrum holdings, share channels, and
possibly adopt a cellular model of multiple, lower-power transmitters to
deliver their signals.
But in the letter, executives from NAB and MSTV thanked the
commission for gathering the engineering community to discuss the technical implications
and said broadcasters were willing to work with the commission on achieving the
goal of ensuring access to broadband.
But the bottom line of the letter was to emphasize the value
not only to broadcasters but consumers and the government of letting
broadcasters build out their spectrum with new services, including mobile
"Collectively, untold billions of dollars were invested
by broadcasters, government and consumers to ensure America's leadership edge
in digital and high definition television, and the fruits of those investments
are just beginning to be realized," the two trade groups said.
"Television broadcasting remains the most efficient way
to deliver rich video to the masses, a fact reinforced in local towns and
cities during a weather-related crisis, or nationally when President Obama
addresses Americans from the Oval Office," NAB and MSTV said.
The letter came the same day the White House
issued a presidential memorandum backing the FCC spectrum-reclamation proposal
and urging the commission to move swiftly to free up spectrum.