With a looming spectrum crisis, one of the major hurdles FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has to make is convincing America’s broadcasters to give up the wireless oxygen necessary to keep up with innovation and demand outside of broadcast TV. So far, broadcasters have been cool to the idea, and as Sara Jerome of The Hill reports, they have a lot of power:
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro said the political might of the broadcasters “terrifies” members of Congress and will allow them to mount a battle over spectrum issues during this session of Congress.
“Certainly, the broadcasters are a phenomenal political lobby and they have terrified members of Congress with their ability to use their broadcast signal in a way that demonizes the members,” Shapiro said on an episode of C-SPAN’s “Communicators” that aired Saturday.
Chairman Genachowski has proposed auctions for spectrum, with the broadcasters and the government each receiving a share. How that share breaks down is still up in the air, however, and Shapiro believes the broadcasters will be fighting for a major chunk. Stay tuned…