Broadcasters question spectrum crisis

"Dish is hardly alone in its strategic decision to warehouse spectrum; indeed, top Time Warner Cable officials have frankly admitted that their company, too, is engaged in spectrum hoarding," wrote Smith, a former senator from Oregon. 

Smith said the broadcasters are okay with mechanisms to repurpose TV airwaves if stations volunteer to do so. The FCC wants to offer incentives to broadcasters to relinquish their airwaves holdings, but it needs congressional authorization to do so. 

For its part, the wireless industry has blasted NAB for questioning the "spectrum crisis." 

"We can continue to mindlessly debate whether there’s really a spectrum 'crisis,' or we can get on with discussing how this country is going to manage forecasted wireless data demands while maintaining leadership in the global wireless revolution," AT&T federal regulatory vice president Joan Marsh said in a blog post this month. 

The broadcasters are holding a conference in Washington this week featuring House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).