FCC postpones spectrum-incentive auction from mid-2015 to early 2016

FCC postpones spectrum-incentive auction from mid-2015 to early 2016

On Friday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed in an announcement that it has decided to delay the much-anticipated auction of TV airwaves for mobile use till early 2016.

The spectrum-incentive auction - in which TV broadcasters will sell airwaves to mobile carriers to help them meet their increasing spectrum demands - was earlier scheduled to be held in mid-2015.

The auction will probably be the largest and most complex spectrum sale to be undertaken by the FCC. The auction involves a multi-step procedure in which airwaves will be given up by some broadcasters, or their signals will be moved to new spots on the electromagnetic spectrum in lieu of a percentage of the proceeds from the spectrum sale.

About its decision to postpone the auction, the FCC said that the move was partly a result of an auction-related lawsuit filed by TV industry trade group, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). In addition, the FCC further added that the auction postponement decision was also affected by the fact that more time was required for recruiting TV stations for participation.

In reference to the delay in auction, Gary Epstein - the chairman of FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force - said that because of the NAB lawsuit schedule and "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 FCC will now likely start "accepting applications for the auction in the fall of 2015 and starting the auction in early 2016."

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