Pitts pitches value of broadcast television to FCC chair


“The finest communications system in the world relies on both free, over-the-air broadcast television and high speed broadband services,” wrote Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Accordingly, I write today to state my view that spectrum policies will best serve the public if they allow for a continued and robust local broadcast television service along with broadband services.”

Pitts is a member in good standing of the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, which takes the lead on most Capitol Hill matters that involve the FCC.

Pitts reminded Genachowski that millions rely on OTA television for news, info and entertainment, and also that broadcasters are just beginning to turn digital technology into increased service and choice for consumers.
Why did we go to all the troubl, he wonders, to get digital-to-analog converter boxes out to those who needed them during the DTV transition two years ago if FCC policy was going to minimize digital television broadcasting down the road?

“Americans should not lose reliable access to quality broadcast programming as a result of spectrum policies that could reduce view reception of local stations,” wrote Pitts. “Similarly, they should not lose potential services because of new spectrum taxes on local stations. Such measures would impede the public’s access not only to entertainment and local news programming, but also to vital emergency information. Television viewers should also be allowed to continue to benefit from broadcast video innovation, including mobile DTV.”

He asked that all FCC policy keep the all are considered when spectrum policy is being made including “…rural and urban, young and old, wealthy and poor.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We’re sure that the FCC in general and Chairman Genachowski in particular get lots of letters. But they do not all carry the same weight. A click-and-send missive from someone who happened upon some watchdog campaign that is a word-for-word duplicate of thousands of other is a featherweight. Letters from a member of that exclusive 535-member club on that Hill in Washington are heavyweights. If you know a member of that club, perhaps you can get a letter written and sent to Genachowski too.