Editorial - 7/28/11

Free, local TV now faces a cross-road at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, and ultimately, in the hands of Congress.  As you may have seen on-air recently, after already removing spectrum-space for the imposed move to high-definition, the FCC now wants to take 40% more of the remaining channel-space away from local TV stations, then auction it off to broadband companies, to accommodate the new generation of bandwidth-devouring smart-phones, ipads and other devices.  It appears that, in the eyes of the FCC, faster download speeds are now far more important than the free hometown news and weather information, emergency alerts, network entertainment, and community involvement telecasts that only local stations can provide.

Bottom line:  If the FCC's broadband plan is approved, some markets will actually lose local stations, while other stations may be forced to share channel assignments, likely leading to interference issues, and the loss of added digital channel and mobile service.  Worse yet, we've now been advised that the FCC's initiative has been tucked deep-within pending debt-ceiling legislation, with predictable, negative results.

No other medium can provide the news, customized weather, and emergency information, available to you, free of charge, 24/7.  Recall the life-saving role of local stations during tornado-ravaged Alabama and Missouri.  Are faster downloads really more important than reliable access to local emergency information?  Please call or email your Senators and Representatives, either home-office, or in D.C.  Tell them to protect your right to the full current and future services, provided free, by local TV.