Tester stands up for television viewers, wireless users along Montanas northern border
Senator pushes FCC to coordinate with Canada, Mexico to prevent disruptions in over-the-air television
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is calling on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to keep border states like Montana in mind as it prepares for the upcoming auction of broadcast television waves, known as ‘spectrum.’
The FCC is allowing television stations across the country to sell access to broadcast waves they no longer use, freeing up space for additional wireless signal. But viewers living along the borders with Canada and Mexico, who depend on television for emergency alerts and weather updates, could experience TV reception difficulties if proper planning does not take place.
Tester, along with 18 border state Senators, recently told FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn to coordinate the selling of broadcast space with Canada and Mexico to prevent disruptions for viewers along the border.
“This coordination is necessary to avoid harm to television viewers near international borders,” Tester and his colleagues told Clyburn. “Coordination will ensure sufficient channel allotments for local broadcasters who continue to serve their local communities.”
The broadcast auction is expected to raise enough money to support a new public safety network for first responders and reduce the nation’s deficit by $15 billion over the next 11 years.
Tester, a strong advocate for improving high-speed communication service in rural states like Montana, recently got the FCC to delay the implementation of a rule that discourages rural telecomm companies from investing in new broadband internet.