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Zucker: FCC Should Look Beyond Broadcasters For Spectrum

NBCU President & CEO Jeff Zucker said Thursday (Feb. 25) that while he supported the FCC's goal of rolling out broadband, he does not think it should necessarily be looking at broadcasting as the place to get all that extra spectrum.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Wednesday that as part of the national broadband plan, the commission would try to voluntarily reclaim broadcast spectrum as part of his goal to free up 500 mHz more spectrum.

Zucker, testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed Comcast/NBCU deal that, pointed out that broadcasters only occupy 200 mHz, so that even if the FCC "killed" the service, it would not reach its 500 mHz goal.

Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Tex.), who cited the FCC's spectrum reclamation plan, had said he was concerned that Comcast would be facing a "Sophie's Choice" given its interest in broadband. Roberts said he would want his stations, if the merger went through, to be treated the same as other broadcasters and that Comcast would want to be a participant in discussions [about the FCC plan].