FCC chairman fires back at top broadcaster over spectrum plans

He later suggested broadband is not held to the same standards broadcasters are with respect to comes to indecent material.

"The unpleasant truth is that the Internet is rampant with lewd and degrading material," he said. "Here is the half-facetious irony: if broadcasting loses spectrum and grandma's new HDTV is rendered useless, at least she will have the consolation of knowing her grandson can get lewd material instantaneously on his cell phone," continued Smith, a former GOP senator from Oregon.

Ultimately, Genachowski described many of Smith's criticisms as "myths," stressing the auctions would not be mandatory or in any way detrimental to local programming.

The FCC chief also reached out to broadcasters by announcing he would create an "Engineers Forum," which would consult with industry leaders over many of the proposals in the agency's new Broadband Plan, including spectrum reallocation, he said.