Blog by FCC nominee suggests Wheeler may favor wireless over broadcast

By Dru Sefton

Is Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee to head the FCC, “a wireless guy” who looks down on over-the-air broadcasting? TVNewsCheck perused Wheeler’s blog, titled Mobile Musings, and found some evidence to that effect.

Wheeler, a former lay member of the PBS Board, is the president’s nominee to replace outgoing FCC Chair Julius Genachowski.

In one blog entry, Wheeler writes: “When only 10% of households rely exclusively on over-the-air signals (for TV reception) and digital technology can cram most market’s existing signals into a single license allocation, the question gets asked whether there might be a higher and better use for those airwaves.”

In another: ““Broadcast spectrum is being kept out of the hands of rapid-paced innovators, while those who hold the spectrum appear to be taking their time embracing the opportunities digital presents.”

Entries in the blog, which ran from 2007-12, suggest that Wheeler “wholeheartedly buys the wireless industry’s argument that many broadcasters are wasting their spectrum,” TVNewsCheck noted.

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