Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NAB Goes Back to the Future

As the fight over "white spaces" heats up, the technophobes at the National Association of Broadcasters are clinging to outdated scare tactics to protect us from the monsters of innovation.

Be Very Afraid

Stirring up fears about technological advances is a well-worn page in the broadcasters’ playbook. The NAB opposed satellite radio, cable TV, and even the VCR when they were first introduced, calling them a threat to the future of over-the-air television.

Well the future has arrived once again. This time it's in the form of a technology that uses vacant airwaves to connect millions of people to high-speed Internet services.

White spaces technology works, as evidenced by an exhaustive study by FCC engineers. It can be used without interfering with television signals, they concluded. But don't tell that to the NAB. They'd rather Washington gave in to their extravagant tales about creatures and ghouls determined to kill your TV.

Sound familiar? In 1974, the NAB attempted to frighten us away from cable television with a PSA that's was as over the top then as are their claims about white spaces today. (play the clip above)

It didn't work in 1974. Hopefully, the FCC will learn from the past and dismiss the NAB's latest round of fear mongering as yet another bad TV rerun.

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