Cellcos likely to wait longer for ex-broadcast spectrum, FCC says

28 Oct 2014

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has indicated that it expects the voluntary re-auction of broadcast spectrum for mobile usage to be delayed until early 2016 from a previous mooted timetable of mid-2015, Telecoms.com reports. Gary Epstein, Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force, pointed to delays likely to be caused by TV broadcasters’ court challenges to the auction rules, which he estimated would take six months or so to be completed in court. The National Association of Broadcasters, which launched the lawsuit, issued a statement saying: ‘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.’ TeleGeography notes that the FCC confirmed back in early 2010 that it would not force broadcasters to give up spectrum holdings for wireless broadband use, but would instead establish a ‘voluntary marketplace mechanism’ so that TV stations have a choice in how they want to use their spectrum, including relinquishing all, part of, or none of their frequency resources.