Got spectrum? NAB wants to know why

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) own spectrum. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), whose members are under pressure from the FCC to relinquish some of theirs, wants to know why and what they're planning to do with it.

In a letter to the ranking members of the House Energy & Commerce and Senate Commerce Committee, NAB President Gordon Smith sought clarity on why Dish can hold spectrum as a speculative investment and "Time Warner Cable officials have frankly admitted that their company, too, is engaged in spectrum holding" while the FCC is warning of a spectrum shortage.

To Smith's way of thinking, the best way to resolve the question of who has spectrum and why is to have "an independent agency" (he called out the Government Accountability Office) to do a "top to bottom review of spectrum hoarding and/or spectrum speculation."

Smith also pointed out that local television stations "collectively returned 108 MHz of spectrum to the government less than two years ago" and are being asked to give up another 120 MHz to solve a spectrum shortage so that the government can proceed with a wireless-centric national broadband plan.

For more:
- see this letter (PDF)

Related articles:
NAB crunches Time Warner Cable for spectrum hoarding
Broadcasters could pay spectrum taxes if they refuse to give up spectrum
Genachowski reiterates fears of broadband spectrum crunch