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Public Knowledge Can't Support LPTV Bill

Public Knowledge is advising Congress not to take any action on a proposed low-power TV and translator bill, the LPTV and Translator Preservation Act of 2014, as is a prominent Democrat.

In testimony for a Thursday hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee on the bill, Public Knowledge SVP Harold Feld says that while the group agrees with the sentiments in the bill that LPTV's and translators provide a valuable service, he says that the bill essentially restates the FCC's existing responsibility to consider the public interest when deciding to assign licenses after the broadcast incentive auction. Because of the "potential confusion and delay" new legislation would create, he says Congress should hold off on taking any action.

Subcommittee ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), also a low-power TV supporter, agrees this is not the right time to introduce new legislation. "[G]iving the FCC new instructions when they are well into the design and development of the most complex spectrum auction ever conducted, would add unnecessary complexity and could dismantle the carefully crafted balance on other issues of importance to Subcommittee members, including maximizing both unlicensed and licensed spectrum," she said Thursday in advance of the hearing.