Broadcasters downplay threat of 'alleged spectrum shortage'

Smith referred to the "alleged spectrum shortage" facing the nation. "If there is truly a 'spectrum crisis,' then allowing companies the size of [Time Warner Cable] to hoard airwaves should not be permitted," he wrote.

Smith advocated for spectrum inventory legislation as a way to ascertain which companies and government agencies are sitting on spectrum. He said an inventory is necessary as a first step if the nation is "truly committed to unlocking the technological potential of wireless broadband."

The administration and Congress are already discussing spectrum measures that are more aggressive than an inventory, including auctions that would provide incentives to TV broadcasters to sell off their sections of the airwaves.