Skip to main content

Don't Tread on DTV, Says MSTV

On the eve of the Senate markup of a telecom/video franchise reform bill, broadcasters' spectrum watchdog group has asked the Senate Commerce Committee not to authorize the use of unlicensed wireless devices in the broadcast band.

In a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Co-chairmen Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Association for Maximum Service Television President David Donovan argued that additional "real world" testing of potential interference was needed, saying that it was reasonable to wait until the FCC finishes assigning DTV channels and it is clear what frequencies will need to be protected from interference.

Chairman Stevens, for one, is a big backer of the unlicensed devices portion of the bill, arguing it will help advance communications, like wireless Internet access, for his hard-to-wire rural state.

MSTV has lobbied hard against allowing the devices, arguing that once they have been authorized it will be hard to get the genie back in the bottle if they do, in fact, cause interference that could ultimately hurt the transition to digital by interfering with the crisp new pictures that are DTV's principal draw.