New York's senators want the
State Department to intervene "at a very high level" to insure the
success of coordination between Canada and the U.S. over spectrum issues
related to the upcoming spectrum incentive auctions. While they concede that
the FCC has traditionally taken the lead, they want State to add its firepower.
a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry,
Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said the goal should be for
Americans along the Canadian border to continue receiving the TV broadcasts
they get now and also to free up "significant amounts of spectrum."
point out that since, by treaty, both the U.S. and Canada must protect stations
within 250 miles of the border from interference, that could limit the number
of channels available for the FCC to repack after the auction, either
potentially reducing the coverage of existing stations or reducing the amount
of spectrum that can be reclaimed for auction.
alternatives are equally unpleasant, they said. They also said that New York is particularly
vulnerable with Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Plattsburg and Watertown all within the 250
mile zone. "The ripple effect could affect Albany and New York City, they argue.
National Association of Broadcasters has long argued that that coordination
with Canada -- and Mexico -- is key and needs to
happen sooner rather than later.
The senators agree. "Time is of the essence," they told Kerry.
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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.