Spectrum bill walks razor's edge between broadcasters, FCC spectrum needs

A draft copy of a spectrum initiative bill wending its way through the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee shows the razor's edge that Congress is walking between preserving the rights of broadcasters while at the same time giving the FCC room to grab spectrum for what it claims is a broadband crisis.

The bill, being worked on by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison, says that the FCC can't "reclaim spectrum ... on an involuntary basis" to carry out the spectrum auction but can push non-compliant broadcasters off their specific spectrum spots by allocating "an identical amount of contiguous spectrum located between channels 14 and 50."

Called "repacking," this provision has broadcasters worried that already touchy digital signals could get worse, slicing back serving areas even more and defeating any potential competitive digital plays.

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story

Related articles:
FCC, NAB tangle over broadcast spectrum auctions
Broadcast spectrum auctions 'likely' to get House support
Bill proposes paying broadcasters for spectrum

Suggested Articles

A massive media conglomerate like Comcast/NBCUniversal makes news often but this week was particularly busy with an acquisition, a big name reveal and a major…

DAZN, a subscription sports streaming service that launched in 2018, has a new distribution deal in place on Comcast’s X1 and Flex video platforms.

Given the accelerating rate at which consumers are going online for entertainment, Roku said that streaming TV viewers could surpass the amount of pay TV…