FCC’s Wheeler addresses spectrum issues; calls broadcasting a ‘critical component’

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New FCC Chair Tom Wheeler thinks broadcasting “is a critical component of the whole mix” when discussing future uses of spectrum, he told Broadcasting & Cable’s Multichannel News in an interview Thursday.

“What fascinates me,” he said, “is that people say that if you are talking about how to use spectrum efficiently, then you have to be saying something that is anti-broadcasting. That is malarkey.”

Broadcasters “fulfill an important public service,” he added. “The broadcasters distribute in many ways now, including over the air. And in a world in which we now have digital pathways, rather than analog pathways, [the issue is] what is the most efficient use of the spectrum. And that doesn’t mean chucking broadcasting.”