FCC’s incentive spectrum auction has been challenged in a lawsuit by broadcasters. The legal challenge to the FCC means that the agency will have to postpone its spectrum auction plans.
The auction dates have been moved from 2014 to 2015. It seems mobile carriers will have to wait another year to get their share of the coveted spectrum.
The auction has already been moved from 2014 to 2015, and now it seems mobile carriers will have to wait another year to get their hands on the coveted spectrum.
Gary Epstein, Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force, said in a blog post, “We now anticipate accepting applications for the auction in the fall of 2015 and starting the auction in early 2016. Despite this brief delay, we remain focused on the path to successfully implementing the incentive auction.”
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) had filed a lawsuit which contended that the incentive auction could hurt those Television stations which choose not to participate in the auction.
The final briefs in the case are not due for hearing till January 2015 which meant that a decision is not in the offing till mid 2015.
Epstein said, “We are confident we will prevail in court, but given the reality of that schedule, the complexity of designing and implementing the auction, and the need for all auction participants to have certainty well in advance of the auction.”
The spectrum auction will enable broadcasters to sell their unused spectrum to mobile carriers and get their share of the purchase price. National Association of Broadcasters was initially supportive of the move but now the group contends that FCC is not providing adequate protection for broadcasters who decline to participate in the auction.
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said “We reject suggestions that our narrowly focused lawsuit is cause for delay. We look forward to a speedy resolution of our legal challenge and a successful auction that preserves access to free and local TV for every American. As NAB has said repeatedly, it is more important to get the auction done right than right now. Given its complexity, there is good reason Congress gave the FCC 10 years to complete the proceeding.”