Rural Viewers Could Lose TV in FCC’s Spectrum Repacking

June 12, 2014 at 11:46 am 4 comments

Here at The Future of TV, we’ve been expressing our concern for some time that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed spectrum repacking could threaten rural TV viewers’ access to their favorite channels. For citizens in tiny Moapa Valley, Nev., that danger is all too real.

The Moapa Valley Progress published a detailed report on their town’s over-the-air TV access. Like many rural areas, Moapa Valley relies on TV translators to help TV signals travel from nearby cities to more remote areas. Without these translators, residents would lose many of their TV channels, robbing them of important news and emergency information, not to mention their favorite shows. The FCC’s proposed auction plan could hamper their district’s ability to provide local TV services.

As the Moapa Valley TV District Board Chairman David Pray said:

I always use the example of the little old lady in Overton. What options does she have? We don’t have cable service available in our area. On a fixed income, she can’t afford to pay the $40-$80 per month for satellite TV. And she is homebound and really relies on our service to get information to her. Without that, she would simply not have television service. That is an example of someone who will be hurt the worst by all of this.

As outlined in the Moapa Valley Progress, the FCC’s spectrum repacking plan could limit the amount of spectrum available to the translators that provide rural TV service and impose costs on local broadcasters and communities all across the country.

If you’re a rural resident concerned about losing TV service because of the FCC’s spectrum auction, speak up. Write, call, tweet or email your members of Congress today and let them know that local TV is important to you. Urge them to carefully monitor the FCC’s actions to ensure you don’t lose the channels you depend on most. 

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pattilou52  |  June 26, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I am a successful “cord cutter”. As a recently retired senior, with a newly lower income, I purchased an in-home antenna, and with it and an HDTV, I get 23 channels, no cable bill, very satisfying indeed. I only pay Time Warner for my internet, a great monthly savings. OTA TV is a blessing, and a necessity.

  • 2. Bernie  |  July 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thank you.

  • 3. Bruce Runnels  |  August 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

    They messed things up when they first made TV stations switch from analog to digital. Before that we didn’t have any problems, if the signal got weak it was snowy but you could still watch it. Now it freezes up and you miss part of the show. TVs usually last 30 years and many mid 1980s TVs still work, but don’t have the digital tuners, so they often end up being recycled or end up in the landfill or in ditches along rural back roads.

  • 4. Michael Minnig  |  August 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Don’t let the Dish & Cable companies have a monopoly like ATT had in the phone industry until MCI broke is up with there lawsuit. There action violates the Sherman Anti-Trust laws. It will hurt those who can’t afford to pay these big corporations outrageous Fees !


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