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Verizon Chief: Don't Delay DTV Transition

Verizon Chairman Ivan Seidenberg has asked the key legislators not to delay the DTV transition date.

That came in a letter Tuesday to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Commerce Committees.

Seidenberg argued that moving the date would create disruption, consumer confusion and, more to Verizon's point, "postpone the availability of spectrum critical for advanced commercial and public safety communications systems."

Seidenberg pointed out that Verizon had paid $9.3 billion for the spectrum in an FCC auction last spring, and plans to roll out advanced wireless communications, perhaps as early as this year.

"Delaying the DTV transition will delay our ability to upgrade those frequencies to 4G [fourth generation] broadband for American consumers and have a negative impact on our nation's international competitiveness," Seidenberg argued.

In making his case, Seidenberg cited a letter to Congress from the Consumer Electronics Association arguing the date should not be delayed and one from first responders pointing out the importance of getting spectrum for interoperable communications, although in that letter, they asked for a carve-out from the delay for their spectrum.