Washington

CTIA Offers Own Timetable for FCC Auction Action

Includes a rulemaking proposal on forward incentive auctions by May 2012 and an order by March 26, 2013 3/22/2012 06:41:10 PM Eastern

Wireless companies have proposed a timeline for
the FCC to reclaim and re-auction spectrum from broadcasters and governments
users to feed the country's voracious appetitive for spectrum.

To
feed those hungry hoards, CTIA The Wireless Association suggested in letters to
the relevant agencies, it will take "immediate action by the FCC and the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration ('NTIA') is needed in
partnership with stakeholders such as CTIA and its members, in the shadow of
the second anniversary of the National Broadband Plan." The plan, which
set a target date of freeing up 300 MHz of spectrum by 2015, was released March 17, 2010.

The
two-page list of dates,
part of what CTIA says is a blueprint for action, includes a rulemaking
proposal on forward incentive auctions by May 2012 and an order by March 26, 2013.

CTIA
wants the first auction -- in which broadcasters offer up spectrum and the FCC
chooses the lowest bidder -- to be completed by Jan. 7, 2014, and the second
auction, in which that reclaimed spectrum is sold to the highest bidder, to be
completed by Oct. 14, 2014.

CTIA
concedes they are aggressive targets, but says an accelerated timetable is
necessary. It also wants the FCC to publish a schedule and deadlines similar to
that offered up by CTIA.

The
National Association of Broadcasters suggested that CTIA had left out one red
letter date. "Conveniently, CTIA left off its FCC list of proposed timetables
the most important of all," said NAB spokesman Dennis
Wharton, "a deadline for a complete inventory of warehoused spectrum being
hoarded by CTIA members."

FCC
Wireless Bureau chief Rick Kaplan said last week that coming up with the rules
of the road for spectrum reclamation and re-auction and station repacking would
be a complex and difficult task. A source said the FCC will likely hold
workshops on various issues including repacking and interference before coming
up with its own blueprint.

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