Technology

Broadcasters: Airwave auction contains message for FCC

The wild success of a current auction of the nation’s airwaves should be a lesson to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), television broadcast companies said on Thursday.

As a sell-off of government-owned “AWS-3” spectrum licenses climbs past $43.5 billion, the broadcast industry’s trade group urged the FCC to drop portions of an upcoming plan for the agency’s next auction that it finds objectionable.

{mosads}“As a result of the AWS-3 auction, the FCC has a chance to step back and recognize that a successful TV auction is within reach,” National Association of Broadcasters CEO Gordon Smith said.

“It can be done without adopting a variable band plan and without cutting corners in ways that harm broadcasters. We will work with the Commission to ensure the auction is done right.”

Broadcast companies have sued the FCC over some of its rules for the next major airwave auction, which is expected to bring in billions of dollars for the federal government. That auction, originally set for next year, has been pushed back to 2016 in response to the suit.

Broadcasters’ participation in the auction in critical, and the FCC has made a serious effort to try and convince them to sell of their rights to the airwaves. Those rights will then be repackaged and resold to wireless groups such as AT&T and T-Mobile, which are eager to keep up with the rising demand from subscribers to access the Internet at faster and faster speeds. 

Tags Federal Communications Commission National Association of Broadcasters
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