Rural Interests Concerned About Losing Local TV

Cindy Zimmerman

“Water, sunlight, and soil are essential ingredients to agricultural businesses and the communities that rely on them. So too is spectrum, and the free, local news and information broadcasted on it.”

That’s the first line of a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week from agricultural interests regarding concerns about television translator service and low
power television (LPTV).

tv-translatorSeveral organizations representing agriculture, conservation and cooperatives signed letters to the FCC and Congressional committee members urging them to research the impact that impending spectrum incentive auctions could have on television translator service and low power television service in rural areas. Last year Congress authorized the FCC to conduct voluntary spectrum incentive auctions allowing television broadcasters to sell their channels to wireless companies for a portion of the auction proceeds. Low-power television stations and TV translators are not guaranteed a channel location and will not be compensated for their moves, which may result in viewers losing current channels and limiting access to local news and information.

Dennis Wharton with the National Association of Broadcasters explains the issue: NAB Executive Vice President, Communications, Dennis Wharton

Organizations that signed letters sent to the FCC and Congress this week included, American Agri-Women, Association of Range Consultants, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Farmers Union, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, United States Cattlemen’s Association and Women Involved in Farm Economics.

Audio, Government, Media