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April 27, 2010
Dennis Wharton
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NAB's Smith Testifies at Small Business Spectrum Hearing

WASHINGTON -- NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship regarding government efforts to expand broadband access in America. Smith's remarks highlighted the role of local broadcasters and reiterated NAB's support for spectrum inventory legislation.

Smith, a former two-term Senator from Oregon, emphasized NAB's desire to see both broadband and broadcast flourish, and he stressed the important role broadcasters can play in furthering the rollout of nationwide broadband.

"Simply put, any notion that we're looking at a world of broadband verses broadcast is false. It's a false choice," he told the committee.

Calling proposed spectrum fees "punitive," Smith expressed concern that such regulatory action could be viewed as a mechanism to force broadcasters off the airwaves.

"Make no mistake: such a punitive measure, such a fee, would be a devastating blow to the small businesses that I represent in the broadcast industry," Smith said.

Smith also outlined broadcast television's efficient use of spectrum, noting that broadcasters provide entertainment programming as well as critical information during times of crisis. Because broadcast TV is a one-to-everyone delivery system, he said, viewers are never subjected to the network congestion routinely experienced by mobile phone users.

"Broadcasting is a highly efficient use of spectrum. It's one-to-everyone. Broadband is one-to-one, and it's spectrum hogging," Smith explained.

A copy of Smith's written testimony, submitted to the Committee earlier this week is available here in PDF format.

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The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


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