News of FCC Spectrum Item Draws Industry Reactions
NAB will work with government; CEA commends FCC action
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/7/2012 2:28:43 PM
"NAB looks forward to working with the FCC and Congress to implement spectrum incentive auction legislation," said National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton. "We have no quarrel with television stations choosing to voluntarily participate in the auction process. Our overriding objective remains the preservation of a vibrant future for free and local TV stations that serve tens of millions of Americans every day with quality entertainment, local news, the most popular sports, and life-saving weather warnings."
On the wireless side, CTIA President Steve Largent called it a vital step.
"We appreciate that the Commission will take a thoughtful, thorough and efficient approach in this proceeding so the unused and underutilized spectrum is reallocated to its highest and best use in an accelerated timeframe.
"As CTIA has consistently stated, the economic impact of bringing additional spectrum to market will be tremendous. The FCC is taking a vital step that will foster continued growth in the U.S. while encouraging wireless innovation that will have a significant impact on many additional sectors of our economy, including education, healthcare, transportation and energy."
The Consumer Electronics Association, which has pushed hard for government reclamation of broadcast spectrum to feed the growing number of wireless devices its members manufacture, applauded the move.
"CEA commends the Commission on the upcoming release of the notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to voluntary broadcast incentive auctions," said Julie Kearney, VP of regulatory affairs. "The auctions will yield innumerable benefits for American consumers to access wireless broadband and ensure that devices such as smartphones and tablets can continue to connect to those networks. We applaud the FCC for its work in helping the U.S. maintain its leadership in global technology and innovation by making sure our wireless broadband products have more usable spectrum."
The FCC is making numerous detailed recommendations on how to conduct the auctions, compensate broadcasters for their spectrum or for repacking those who remain in business, and make the spectrum attractive for wireless bidders.
It will give industry three-plus months to comment, with the goal of voting an order in Mid-2013 and finishing the auctions in 2014.
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