Broadcasters face uphill spectrum battle on Capitol Hill

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Hundreds of state broadcasting association officials and other broadcasters are on Capitol Hill today (March 2) in an effort to convince members of Congress to remember them, and the spectrum they use, in the upcoming fight to reclaim bandwidth for wireless use, reports TVNewsCheck. They’re up against powerful Washington lobbyists for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Google, Intel, Cisco Systems and Microsoft, all hungry for spectrum for their mobile devices. The news site pointed out that AT&T’s political action committee donations from 1989 to 2010 were more than $46 million; the National Association of Broadcasters, $8.2 million. “This is a very much David versus Goliath,” says John Hane, a broadcast attorney who has been following the action on spectrum closely since the FCC released its broadband plan in 2009. “The broadcast industry is very small in comparison to the wireless industry and its vendors.”Also, Congress is hungry for revenue from a voluntary auction to go toward the federal deficit.