Spectrum Sellers Blast FCC Pricing Plan
The group of broadcasters hoping to cash in its spectrum during the FCC's incentive auction next year is complaining that the FCC apparently plans to set prices of spectrum by "scoring" or evaluating stations using its own criteria.
"It is universally acknowledged that widespread broadcaster participation is the indispensible key to a successful auction," the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition says in informal comments filed with the commission today.
"The commission’s proposal to manage the prices paid to broadcasters by 'scoring' stations is driving broadcasters away from the auction. And, the ... plan is inconsistent with the Spectrum Act, which provides for the prices to be received by broadcasters to be determined by the market forces of the auction...."
Under the law, the FCC has no authority to set prices, particularly on the basis of a station's population coverage, it says.
"If the commission offers a station with less population coverage a lower value, it could cause that station to forego auction participation, notwithstanding the fact that the station will greatly hinder the agency’s repacking efforts," it says.
"Already, the prospect of such scoring is causing some stations to rethink their plans to participate in the auction."