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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Save free TV!

Save Free TV!

A commercial from the 1970's. More relevant now in 2010!

Yes, It could happen. The government and broadband providers are conspiring at this very minute to TAKE AWAY YOUR FREE BROADCAST TV, or cut the number of available channels. WHY? Because they want those channels to be SOLD to the highest bidder at auction,... So a for-profit corporation can sell it back to you as a subscription wireless internet service. Face it, the US government is deep in debt and is willing to sell almost anything for a buck.
Yes, the FCC "goon squad", AT&T, Verizon, Comcast,  Time-Warner etc, want to take your granny's TV away, and offer her to pay for tv and twitter on her fixed income. Oh, and you too!

It's all part of the government's plan to bring high speed internet to everyone. But lets look at the real motivation. The government is deep in debt, and wants money. The wireless providers want bandwidth so they can sell more wireless internet - saving them the cost of running fiber and cable. (More cable and fiber is the best solution to connecting 95%  of America, but internet providers want the less expensive solution!). And the pay TV providers, well, they just want you to have no other choice but to pay them.

Lets look at the facts. There are NO broadcasters or broadcast engineers in the FCC. NONE. It is headed by Julius Genachowski,  a lawyer. (Lawyers in government tend to promulgate new laws which lead to more money for more lawyers.)

Let's examine "Curious Case of Benjamin Stuart". Genachowski appointed Stuart Benjamin, who referred to broadcast television as "a powerful source of homogenization and pablum," as "Scholar in Residence" and a key adviser on spectrum policy and First Amendment matters. Duke University published a paper by Benjamin titled "Roasting the Pig to Burn Down the House: A Modest Proposal." In his "Modest Proposal" Benjamin recommends the FCC impose onerous "broadcast regulations that seem undesirable on their own terms but that may result in such harms to broadcasting that broadcasting leaves the [radio-TV] spectrum."
I am very suspicious of any "Modest Proposal". The original "Modest Proposal" -"A Modest Proposal   For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being Aburden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public"  By Jonathan Swift (1729) should be required reading for everyone. In his work, Swift (sarcastically) suggests the solution to poverty and overpopulation is TO EAT THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR.  Benjamin even credits Swift, "Who is much smarter than I", (REALLY? No kidding, stupid!) in his paper. I don't think Benjamin understands, Swift is being sarcastic, and I believe Benjamin used it in his title without sarcasm. Benjamin Stuart's appointment as "Scholar in Residence" takes the discussion out of the pure realm of debating the relative merits of the spectrum arguments, and into one focused on the legitimacy of a government agency deliberately attempting to put people out of business.
In the USA, the UHF TV band originally contained channels 14 to 83. Channels 70 to 83 were reallocated to Land Mobile Radio Service and Cellular Mobile Radio Service in 1982. In the digital transition, the FCC auctioned off Channels 52 to 69 for Part 90 Land Mobile Radio Service (mobile internet and cellular). Broadcast TV has already given enough enough spectrum to the FCC's UNOBTAINABLE GOAL. And now,the FCC's National Broadband Plan calls for the agency to reallocate more than a third of the broadcast TV spectrum -- 120 MHz of 300 MHz -- for wireless broadband access within the next five years. And here's the real kicker: Most of that spectrum isn't even being used yet, and they want more!

Here's the fact: There will never be enough bandwidth for wireless devices. The radio spectrum is a finite resource. Each wireless device requires its own bandwidth, both for transmission and reception. From a single TV station the maximum data rate is 19.39Mb/s, and can serve thousands of people. It is truly an efficient use of the radio spectrum. When free TV is gone, or reduced to just a shell of its former self, you will have no choice but to pay for for hundreds of channels to watch just a few of them. And with no competition, your bill can only continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation!

Its time for us to speak out and stop this spectrum grab NOW! How can you help? I'm glad you asked!

  1. WRITE! your government representatives and the FCC and let them know that we don't want to loose any more TV channels to broadband . You may only get form letters back, but if you find just one ally in the fight to save free tv, you have the ear of someone in a position to change things. You can find contact info here:
  2. SPREAD THE WORD! Let your friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers know about how great FREE broadcast TV is, and help them to get their homes connected to free TV.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD SOME MORE! Let everyone know about the FCC to allow wireless and pay TV companies plan to "RULE THE AIR" and take free TV away.
  4. LEARN MORE! Below are some links to free TV resources.


  1. Hi! I found your blog thru Pinching Your Pennies. What a very informative blog you have! Anyways, I was wondering if you could help me figure out what I needed to do to get free tv. I just canceled my DirecTV yesterday. Yay! :) I'm fairly sure my tv's are new enough to not need a digital converter box, but how do I know for sure? And what do I need to go buy to be able to get channels. Right now I don't have any antennas or cables connected to my tvs and nothing at all comes in on any channel. Can you please help?

  2. Check your Email.
    If your TV is less than 5 years old, it should be good. However, you may want to dig out the owners manual and confirm it. You should be able to find your manuals on the MFG. web site if you've lost them.

    You'll have to set your tv to "antenna" in the setup manual and do a channel scan once you get an antenna hooked up.

    If you and your hubby are handy, this shouldn't be difficult at all!