The National Association of Broadcasters responded to concerns raised over a letter from a group of tech industry leaders and executives, known as Innovation for Technology, announcing their support for Microsoft’s Television White Space proposal sent to the FCC.
“We are writing today to strongly urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to preserve three TV white spaces channels in every market in the nation that can be used to carry innovative broadband technology,” the letter reads.
It goes on to cite using the white spaces will “bring affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to 34 million Americans who currently lack access.” The letter lists four items in support of white space use, including greater technological and broadcast capabilities, claims the frequencies are not in use and have wide coverage, it’s affordable, and will create opportunities in “rural healthcare and public-sector services,” among others.
The NAB cautioned the FCC to not be decieved by the numbers in their statement, instead asking them to see the potential harm for local broadcast and services already in place.
“Using even the most wildly optimistic TVWS database numbers, TVWS advocates just need to connect 33,999,132 more devices to bring broadband Internet to 34 million Americans without access,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton.
“Despite sitting on the sidelines for years during the TVWS experiment, Microsoft now demands that the FCC oust television broadcasters and their viewers to pave the way for free spectrum for TVWS advocates,” Wharton said. “This would jeopardize local broadcast news, programming and lifeline emergency information for millions of Americans. The FCC and Members of Congress should not be fooled by Microsoft’s empty promises.”