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Congress

NAB Hits A Nerve

October 6, 2011

The National Association of Broadcasters appears to have hit a raw nerve with its claims that a new Citibank study backs up broadcasters' contention that there is no spectrum crisis.

Groups that have been pushing Congress to pass legislation to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband lashed out at the NAB in response to a letter it sent Wednesday to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The panel is considering including spectrum legislation in its deficit reduction package. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the auctions authorized by Senate spectrum legislation could raise more than $24 billion.

"Citigroup's analysis suggests that spectrum crisis claims that have been manufactured by the wireless and consumer electronics industries - and advanced by the FCC - simply do not withstand scrutiny," NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith wrote.

AT&T's Tim McKone called on NAB to stop denying reality, while Jot Carpenter of the wireless industry group CTIA argued that NAB "has consistently misrepresented the facts." And Jonathan Spalter of the Mobile Future Coalition said NAB was "offering flabby facts and analysis" by relying on equity analysts to make its case instead of engineers and other wireless industry experts.

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