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FCC Says Broadcasters Can Roll Out Mobile TV And Give Up Spectrum, Too

A dozen broadcasters escalated their mobile TV efforts yesterday after forming a joint venture that included financial and content commitments.

The more aggressive measures appeared to be in response to the FCC’s National Broadband initiative, which called for reclaiming unused spectrum from broadcasters for more wireless broadband networks. Without the spectrum, it would limit broadcasters’ ability to roll out mobile TV. But yesterday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who was speaking at the NAB Convention, declared it a “myth” that the plan would kill Mobile DTV, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

Genachowski said pretty much that broadcasters can have their cake and eat it, too. In other words, they would be able to provide that service and turn over some spectrum for wireless broadband. The FCC is currently looking into how it could pay the broadcasters for those airwaves, which is not currently legal. In his speech, he said that he’s happy with the progress that broadcasters have made in establishing standards and getting trials off the ground. “Our job is not to prevent innovation or business models, but to enable them. Under the incentive auction plan, broadcasters will be able to provide mobile DTV, both licensees that choose to retain all 6 megahertz, and those that choose to share.”