Genachowski Urges Broad Participation in Auction
Says it represents new and unique financial opportunity for broadcasters
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/7/2012 3:08:25 PM
"Even as the Commission draws on the expertise of the world's leading economists, auction design experts, and engineers, our ability to maximize the opportunities of spectrum will depend on the active engagement of the public and all stakeholders," he said in a statement Friday. "I urge broad participation by all."
That would be broad as in "broadcasters," whose spectrum the FCC wants back, and as in wireless "broadband," whose spectrum holdings the FCC wants to swell as demand for their services increase.
Holding out a carrot to concerned broadcasters, he said that they would have "a new and unique financial opportunity as a result of incentive auctions." He did not elaborate, but the most immediate would be the government payout for exiting their spectrum altogether or some portion of it.
As B&C reported previously, the FCC is launching an education effort so broadcasters know what they are getting into.
"The Commission is committed to making every effort to be a resource to the broadcaster community," he said, "which is why we are launching a new â€˜Broadcaster LEARN Program,' designed to empower decision-makers. Through this program, a host of new resources will be available as broadcasters and others participate in the comment process and consider this business decision."
For Genachowski's entire statement, click here.
So far there has not been a groundswell up public broadcaster support for giving up their spectrum, with the National Association of Broadcasters more focused on making sure broadcasters who remain in business have sufficient interference protections and coverage areas. The FCC is bound by statute to make all reasonable efforts to replicate the audiences and protect the signals of the stations that are moved or repacked into smaller chunks of bandwidth to free up larger, contiguous, blocks for re-auctioning.
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