WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), today held a hearing examining the opportunities and challenges of the FCC’s spectrum repack process following the Broadcast Incentive Auction.
To start the hearing, #SubCommTech Chairman Blackburn discussed the importance of collaboration throughout the repack process, “Discussions involving stakeholders from all sides of the auction resulted in agreement on the post-auction transition timeline and budget. The FCC has done its part to carry out the first part of the auction and set parameters for the repack. It is now time for industry to work together to ensure that this agreement is honored and that the repack is completed on time.”
“Hurricane Harvey has reminded us all how important broadcasters and wireless providers are in times of emergency,” said Chairman Blackburn. “Preserving access to over-the-air television while also meeting consumer demand for mobile broadband is a goal we all share. Today’s panel will inform us on challenges and opportunities in the latest effort to advance this goal.”
Rick Kaplan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, National Association of Broadcasters, reaffirmed NAB’s commitment to a successful repack, “NAB continues to believe that with the right Congressional and FCC leadership, the repack can be successful. We are committed to doing our part to see that happen. This includes providing consumer education to ensure our viewers know how to find us after repacking, and tools they need to understand how and when to rescan their TV sets.”
Scott Bergmann, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA, testified in support of wireless and broadband industries working together, stating, “CTIA and its members strongly support the FCC’s Transition Plan, which presents a detailed and flexible roadmap for implementing the requirements of the Spectrum Act. We are committed to being constructive partners with the broadcast industry as the station repacking occurs…”
Jim Tracy, Chairman, National Association of Tower Erectors, highlighted how tower erectors will play a role in this process, “We will do everything we can to help meet the goals of the repack as well as the expansion of broadband. Our bottom line is that we want work to be done properly and efficiently, and that at the end of the day, we want our workers to come home safely. This is good for us, for you, for our nation’s economy, competitiveness and homeland security, and for our vital communications capabilities.”
For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE.
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