Broadcasters Come Together in Broadband Plan

dkreichen1968

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The Coalition For Free TV and Broadband is a group of television broadcasters, organizations and individuals who are dedicated to the survival of free TV and to providing better, cheaper wireless broadband utilizing the broadcast industry. The group is endorsing a new plan that will provide the U.S. treasure with greater return in the long term than if they opted for a one-time revenue from a spectrum auction. The plan seeks to raise an estimated $80 billion for the U.S. Treasury by 2023 through an ongoing annuity, compared to a one-time $25 billion from a spectrum auction. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the auctions authorized by Senate spectrum legislation would net around $6 billion. The Broadcasters Plan will allow for higher contributions to the Treasury than the expected auction, in terms of the present value and a continuing annuity.

Details of the plan will be unveiled at a news conference on October 19.

“We have delivered to Congress a robust plan that continues the broadcast industry’s decades-long record of serving our local communities,” said Mark Aitken, the VP of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group. “A ‘Broadcast Overlay’ serves multiple objectives by delivering a solution providing wireless high data-rate capacity, continues to maximize the efficient use of broadcast TV spectrum, offers the public new wireless service choices, and creates an entirely brand-new revenue stream for the U.S. Treasury.”

Aitken continued, “The figures of $80 billion over 10 years, $125 billion over 15 years and a continuing revenue stream of more than $400 billion obviously dwarfs the amount policy-makers hope to receive from a spectrum auction -- which the Congressional Budget Office scored at a meager six billion dollars—that offers no promises on how or when the spectrum would be used. Broadcasting is very much at the center of any plan for innovation.”

...Lee Miller, communications director for The Coalition, commented: “An auction is only a short term band-aid for two hungry monsters – the wireless industry and the Federal Budget. We already know that the current plan proposed by the big wireless companies -which would destroy thousands of small local television stations - is ethically wrong and unsustainable. Now we know that the wireless company plan is inferior. How much farther down this road will members of Congress follow the wireless industry lobbyists?"
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