Saturday, October 01, 2011
Broadcasters feel that FCC preference for broadband will squeeze out "free" old-fashioned network service
Tom Devaney has an important and detailed story on p A7 of the Sept. 30 Washington Times, “Fighting for spectrum space; Broadcasters ‘extremely nervous’ FCC will favor broadband”, main link (website url) here.
The FCC and telecommunications companies presumably want to reach rural areas with broadband that is as efficient as possible, even in out-of-the-way mountain areas on remote dirt roads. But the “side effect” in some areas could be loss of broadcast channels, or inability of new conventional or even cable channels to enter the market.
Devaney has a sidebar story on that page on how the Detroit area could lose all three of its “free” broadcast channels (not dependent on cable) that depend entirely on commercial advertising spots.
Back in the 50s and 60s the government made a big push to promote UHF access for everyone. I recall that some smaller cities (like Huntsville, AL) had more UHF channels than Washington then, when I grew up, from comments made by family visitors to our home.
Maybe those old antennae and rabbit ears will indeed become obsolete, even with digital tuners. The Dish doesn't sound like fun, either.