More high-tech mobile devices are transferring more data over a limited spectrum of wireless frequencies. All those text messages, tweets, Facebook use and video downloads cause congestion. Folks in the wireless industry want more bandwidth — and they’ve got their eyes on broadcast television.
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association President Michelle Vetterkind says the country just recently made the analog-to-digital TV transition. Consumers bought either a DTV or a converter box to continue receiving free television. Now, that’s in jeopardy.
“There is a threat. There is a threat and it’s a shocking threat. It’s a shocking threat.”
Before the DTV transition took place, Vetterkind says 23% of Wisconsin television viewers relied solely on their antenna — no cable or satellite.
“Over-the-air broadcast is such a lifeline to people. It is the true lifeline. It’s where you get your emergency alerts, your Amber alerts. And when nothing else might be available that’s what you rely on. Your free over-the-air broadcast and that is what’s threatened.”
Vetterkind says broadcasters had big plans to multicast in DTV, among other things. Taking away their bandwidth, she says, would diminish those plans.
The FCC is preparing a report on how to divvy up the spectrum. The agency will submit their findings to Congress by February 17th. Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has filed comments against this proposal.
Jackie Johnson 2:02