Editorial: Auction Insurance

Add us to the list of those supporting the draft bill introduced last week that would provide for a backup fund in case Congress got the estimate of post-incentive auction moving expenses for broadcasters wrong.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) circulated a draft of the bill, tabbing it as consumer-friendly and important for public safety: “As we approach the Broadcast Incentive Auction, it is critical that we make this transition as seamless as possible for consumers without interruptions in their service,” he said. “When Superstorm Sandy hit, we saw firsthand how critical it is to have access to local news and information. The Viewer Protection Act will help to ensure that viewers’ TVs do not go dark because we never know when another emergency might occur.”

A source familiar with Pallone’s thinking said that while the measure benefits broadcasters, the goal is to protect consumers’ access to life-saving info. We’re OK with that.