FCC To Offer Spectrum Payment Estimates
Hoping to spur broadcaster interest in the agency’s incentive auction next year, the FCC will provide broadcasters with estimates this summer “on the amount of money broadcasters could receive for voluntarily relinquishing some or all of their spectrum rights in the auction,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says in a blog published on the agency’s website today.
In the blog, Wheeler also says the agency will distribute information to broadcasters later this summer explaining why they should consider participating in an auction that is intended to repurpose broadcast spectrum for smartphones and other wireless services.
“Following release of this material, senior FCC staff will meet with broadcasters across the country on a voluntary and confidential basis to answer questions and provide additional details,” Wheeler says in his blog, which also provides an updated timeline for auction-related issues (see the blog item here).
“As we near the incentive auction, commission experts will hold additional webinars and travel across the country to demonstrate to interested broadcasters how to participate, including providing hands-on bidding demonstrations,” Wheeler adds.
“We have come a long way in the almost two and a half years since Congress directed the FCC to hold the incentive auction,” Wheeler continues. “With the policy foundation for the auction now in place, it is time to ensure that everyone has all of the information they need to ensure a successful auction.”
Rick Kaplan, NAB EVP, remarked: “Education is a key element of the auction. It is very wise for the FCC to make its rules and prices clear.”
And Preston Padden, executive director of the Expanding Opportunities For Broadcasters Coalition, said: "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. The chairman and the auction staff are being incredibly responsive to the information needs of broadcasters."
The FCC has hired the New York-based investment banking firm Greenhill & Co. to help it come up with the educational material explaining why broadcasters should consider participating in the auction.