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Kennard Calls TV ‘Spectrum Squatters’; Urges Fee

Kennard Calls TV 'Spectrum Squatters'; Urges Fee

NAB doesn’t think too much of the FCC Chairman’s plan to recommend to Congress that that TV stations pay a fee to use their analog channel after Jan. 1, 2006.
“Sadly, he is trying to shift the blame for a faltering DTV transition,” said NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts.
The commission has not required all digital TV sets to receive digital signals, nor has it required interoperability between DTV and cable operators, Fritts said.
Kennard called TV stations “spectrum squatters” in a speech before the Museum of Television and Radio Monday. He said in order to speed up the digital transition and get TV to pay more attention to its public interest obligations, he plans to recommend to the next session of Congress that TV stations pay an escalating “spectrum-squatters’ fee” for using the analog channel after the 2006 target DTV transition deadline.
Kennard also urged lawmakers to require all TV sets include the capability to receive digital signals by Jan. 2003 and make the 2006 a hard deadline for conversion to digital.
Leslie Stimson