APTS, CPB and PBS Statement Regarding Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction Petition For Reconsideration

Stacey Karp, APTS, 202-654-4222, skarp@apts.org
Michael Levy, CPB, 202-879-9758, mlevy@cpb.org
Jan McNamara, PBS, 703-739-5028, jmcnamara@pbs.org


ARLINGTON, VA – September 15, 2014 – The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the Commission to reconsider and revise part of the rules adopted earlier this year for the upcoming broadcast spectrum incentive auction. The petition requests that the FCC revise its rules to ensure that after the auction and repacking of broadcast spectrum, no community in the country will be left without noncommercial educational television service.

The incentive auction rules as adopted by the FCC overturn more than six decades of FCC precedent reserving spectrum for noncommercial educational service. For over 62 years, the Commission has recognized the value of reserving a portion of the television band for noncommercial educational use and diligently acted to shield a portion of the public airwaves from commercial market pressures so that it could be dedicated in service of the American public. Public media have worked alongside the Commission to fulfill that goal and use broadcast spectrum to deliver uniquely educational services. As recently as the digital television transition that was completed in 2009, the Commission has continued to reaffirm its commitment to reserving spectrum in every community for noncommercial public television service.

Public broadcasters believe the Commission can uphold its longstanding policy, while also conducting a successful incentive auction. The petition filed today proposes a balanced approach that allows any broadcaster to voluntarily relinquish spectrum, but maintains sufficient reserved spectrum to ensure continued educational service to all Americans.

We look forward to continue working with the Commission and its dedicated staff to preserve the longstanding commitment to noncommercial service, expeditiously conduct a successful spectrum incentive auction and continue serving the American people.

Patrick Butler
President and CEO
Association of Public Television Stations

Patricia Harrison
President and CEO
Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Paula Kerger
President and CEO
Public Broadcasting Service

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research, communications and other activities that foster a strong and financially sound public television system providing essential public services to all Americans. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org, Facebook and Twitter.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About PBS
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.