Originally published: March 16, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:36am
National Association of Broadcasters spokesperson Dennis Wharton says broadcasters Broadcasters would be willing to work with the FCC if its spectrum reclamation proposal is voluntary, but that is an important "if."
"We want to be conciliatory because we think this is an important public policy issue," Wharton said on NPR's Diane Rehm Show Tuesday. "We plan to work with the FCC and Congress to help them solve the problem," he said. "Broadcasting and broadband are not mutually exclusive ideas," he added. His concern is that the FCC will first take away six channels on an involuntary basis. Sometimes in Washington, the word 'voluntary' has different connotations. A lot of these broadcasters in big cities are offering niche programming services like foreign language stations and religious stations," Wharton said. "But, sure, if it's truly voluntary, I don't think we'll have a problem. But some of the proposals that have come out in the last day or so -- after we were told this was going to be voluntary -- indicate that it's not truly voluntary. There are proposals put forward in some of the trade publications suggesting that six channels will be taken away from broadcasters on an involuntary basis. We're going to study that."
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