NRB recently filed public comments encouraging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take care in its spectrum considerations to purposefully protect programming choices for Americans, specifically religious and family programming. As the FCC continues to advance the implementation of new voluntary incentive auction of television broadcast spectrum for broadband use, Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO, warned, “Let us be careful not to auction away wholesome programming from the airwaves.”
NRB’s public comments encouraged transparency and fair treatment for broadcasters in the operation of the auction and in any forced channel re-location of stations after the auction. Notably, while low power television (LPTV) was not prescribed the same benefits as full-power and Class A stations by Congress and appears at risk in the FCC’s current spectrum auction trajectory, NRB stressed the importance of the “no-alter” clause in the Spectrum Act for LPTV and proposed constructive solutions to keep important religious and family LPTV programming on the air for consumers. NRB urged that the interests of the viewing public be kept paramount.
Craig Parshall, NRB Senior Vice President & General Counsel, one of the authors of NRB's comments to the FCC, suggested that the Commission "break up this complex proceeding into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This behemoth proposal currently sends the FCC down a blind alley, not knowing if it will garner the necessary spectrum, not informing the public what precise standards it will employ in the auction and repacking, and giving no assurances to any station whether it will, or will not, remain on the air."
As the FCC works to advance this new spectrum auction, NRB continues to urge a process that fairly honors the services and investments of Christian television broadcasters in their local communities.
• Find NRB’s recently filed public comments and press release on the spectrum auction.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations
Published: February 1, 2013