NAB: Broadcasting Can Promote Broadband

(Image credit: NAB)

Broadcasters want to get a cut of those billions of dollars in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) established by legislation passed last December. 

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The bill provides for $3.2 billion in subsidies to be handed out by the FCC over a six-month period. The FCC has been seeking comment on how to set up that program--it is under a tight congressional deadline--including how best to promote awareness of the program in the community.

Up to $50-per-month is available to eligible households to use for internet service or devices during the pandemic.

The National Association of Broadcasters is telling the FCC that TV and radio advertising is particularly effective both because they are ubiquitous and because over-the-air broadcasting over-indexes for the eligible population--households with incomes below $50,000.

NAB also points out that broadcasting scores high as a trusted source of news and information.

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To those, like pay TV and digital media, who advocate for their platforms, NAB said they may exclude some eligible households from the outset since both platforms requires some form of payment, while broadcasting can reach all Americans for free.

NAB isn't saying it should get all the money--though it would hardly balk at that conclusion--only that it should be an important element in any campaign to promote the subsidy.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.