April 23, 2012-Former FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps, in remarks made in an interview for the C-SPAN series “The Communicators” said he thinks there is a lot of spectrum lying fallow.

“There is a lot of spectrum out there, and I don’t think anybody in the United States has very much of a clue exactly how much spectrum is lying fallow,” he said in an interview for the series which airs on C-SPAN.

He stated that a complete spectrum inventory is needed which he believe will reveal that there’s a “whole bunch of [spectrum] lying fallow that could fuel a whole lot of devices and fuel a whole lot of technology,”

The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (Alliance) couldn’t agree more. The Alliance has previously called for the FCC to release the AOM (Allotment Optimization Model) that the Chairman said would be released upon authorization to conduct spectrum auctions. That authorization came in the recently signed “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.” It is time for the release of the AOM and a full spectrum inventory.

While former Commissioner Copps said he hoped the commission would expedite incentive auctions, he said he was not comfortable with taking spectrum from one consolidated medium (broadcasters) to give it to another (wireless). The Alliance has favored broadcasters working together with wireless companies to more effectively use portions of the broadcast spectrum. Utilizing new technology, the “Broadcast Overlay Plan,” as it’s called, would answer part of the wireless industry’s need for more spectrum and generate substantial revenues as an annuity for the federal government over that which would be received through a one-time auction.

And, Copps said he was concerned about the impact of the auctions and TV station repacking would have on noncommercial and smaller, diverse, stations. “There are almost so many unintended consequences when you do something that is this broad,” he said pointing to concerns with Noncoms.

Alliance Executive Director, Irwin Podhajser says, “It is heartening to see that an FCC Commissioner is speaking up about the potential impact to smaller diverse stations.  It has been our contention through this whole process that the auction/repack plan is simply bad policy that will not raise the desired revenue and will not solve the wireless broadband issues of our country; It will be bad for broadcasters, smaller wireless companies and consumers.  It is time for us to create more choices and competition, not entrench a few large wireless monopolies.”

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance