[mythtv-users] "Free Antenna TV" threat?

Tim Ashman tim at ashmans.net
Fri Jan 22 15:58:06 UTC 2010

On Friday 22 January 2010 07:51:09 am Brian Wood wrote:
> On Friday 22 January 2010 08:42:24 am Devin Heitmueller wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:31 AM, Colin McGregor <colin.mc151 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > I am just north of the Canada-USA boarder, so, I admit that some of
> > > the subtleties of US politics sometime escape me... So, could someone
> > > explain to me a commercial that showed up LATE last evening on WGRZ
> > > (Buffalo, NY) claiming that special interest groups were planning to
> > > take away "Free Antenna TV", and the the viewers should contact
> > > congress to stop this. The commercial was produced by the "National
> > > Association of Broadcasters".
> > >
> > > I have real trouble seeing any government anywhere in the
> > > industrialized world taking away over the air TV (would annoy too many
> > > people). Further, the "National Association of Broadcasters" must have
> > > some sort of agenda in all this, but at the moment I don't quite see
> > > what it is.
> > >
> > > So, could someone explain to this Canadian what is REALLY going on
> > > with this ad.?
> >
> > You can read the details in Ars Technica, but essentially the cell
> > phone carriers are complaining that there is not enough spectrum to
> > support all the users of newer smartphones like the iPhone, and they
> > want the FCC to recover some of the spectrum that is currently
> > allocated for digital TV and reallocate it for cell phone use.  The
> > assertion is that this means "taking away over-the-air tv", which may
> > or may not be valid depending on how much of the spectrum in your area
> > is in use.
> >
> > It's also worth noting that the NAB is a trade association
> > representing the companies that were given free licenses to use the
> > spectrum for TV in the first place, so they have consider bias in the
> > matter.
> The NAB's members are certainly not sterling here, they claim to operate in
> the "public interest" (in fact, they are required by law to do so), while
> they actually usurp a resource owned by "the people" for their private
> benefit.
> The situation with available spectrum for cell phones might be helped
> considerably if the US did not have several competing and incompatible
> systems all operating in their own spectrum space, it's like building one
> set of roads for Fords, another for GM products etc., you would quickly run
> out of space to build roads, and your trade group would start lobbying to
> have houses condemned for additional road space.

This is exactly what I mean by the big business' in the US using congress to 
gain marketshare instead of innovation.  You are correct if they four 
companies would just give up on this idea of lock in by technology and just 
move to world gsm a whole bunch of spectrum would suddenly become available 
that they already have access too.

> > In reality, it is unlikely to happen.

Unlike you I do believe that is our crazy pay for access world this does have 
a chance.


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