As the FCC Tackles the Spectrum Auction, Stations are Looking Out for Viewers
The spectrum auction process is currently underway at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but many questions remain as to how the auctions will be conducted and how viewers will be affected.
To that end, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters – the association representing local TV stations and networks in Washington, D.C. – sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reiterating that the incentive auction could directly impact the growing number of Americans that rely exclusively on free, local television and future innovation in the broadcast band.
Television stations are advocating for a fully transparent process to ensure that the impact on their viewers is minimized. Once the auction is conducted, stations may be shuffled around to create a larger swath of spectrum for wireless companies to purchase. Broadcasters want to be sure as stations are moved (or, “repacked”) viewers continue to have access to their local stations and the amount of time stations must be off the air due to moving is kept to a minimum.
To learn more about these channel moves, see this Broadcast Engineering story entitled: Channel relocation could create ‘chaos’ without proper planning.
TV stations will continue to work closely with the FCC to ensure that the spectrum auction process follows the intent of Congress and that free, local television remains an indispensable service for the American people.