Will FCC Revoke DTV Spectrum?
The problem, say the people who are designing a new national broadband strategy, is a "spectrum gap" that would inhibit the spread of wireless broadband. But the National Association of Broadcasters believes taking back DTV spectrum would "limit consumer access to the full potential of digital broadcasting."
The Consumer Electronics Association weighed in with a study that found taking back the DTV spectrum would cost $12 billion in payments to broadcasters and another $9 million to "migrate all households that rely on over-the-air broadcasts to subscription services." But it would also bring in $62 billion from new users. Bear in mind that the feds have just spent $2.15 billion to implement the DTV transition, which reached its climax on June 12, 2009.
So what happens now? Will the federal government say to all the broadcasters and viewers who survived the transition: Whoops, we didn't mean it? And will viewers who depend on free over-the-air TV, including HDTV, be happy to take on a monthly cable or satellite bill?
NAB responded that the CEA study "ignores the immeasurable public benefit" of DTV, which includes HDTV, multicasting, emergency broadcasts, and mobile DTV.