CEA’s Shapiro Strong on FM Chip Issue

Writes NAB should ‘man up and compete,’ and cut deal with phone manufacturer
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The Consumer Electronics Association has reiterated its stance on the FM chip issue in advance of Friday’s private meeting at the commission between broadcasters, the wireless industry and agency personnel on the topic.

In an op-ed piece in The Hill, entitled “Broadcasters Should Man Up and Compete,” CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro decries what he says are NAB’s efforts “to force cellphone manufacturers to include FM radio chips in all our phones.”

NAB has said repeatedly it wants a serious conversation about the topic, not a government mandate.

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith recently wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, thanking him for setting up the meeting while noting the recent storms highlight that the “issue could not be more timely.”

Shapiro counters with: “The NAB has tried the same tactic following previous weather crises, like hurricanes and wildfires. After failing so many times, you would think the NAB would take the hint: Consumers don’t want radio chips in their cellphones. If they did, you can bet that cell phone manufacturers would be churning them out.”

The CEA executive suggests NAB “do what real businesses do” and negotiate a deal with a manufacturer to include a radio chip and then use the airwaves to build consumer demand.

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