The Consumer Electronics Association, CTIA: The Wireless Association, and the Telecommunications Industry Association have asked the FCC for a 30-day extension on the comment deadlines for incentive auction procedures.
Currently the deadline is Jan. 30 for initial comments and Feb. 27 for replies.
They argue that will give them more time for subject matter experts to examine the "novel" issues raised by the two-sided broadcast incentive auction, which everyone is in general agreements represents the most complicated auction the FCC has ever undertaken.
Some of those experts, it points out, are currently involved in the still-ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction, which is on holiday break until the first of the year.
In addition, they said, "there are numerous incentive auction-related comment deadlines in January and February [including on low-power TV, interservice interference, designated entity issues and wireless microphones), and an extension of time will permit interested parties to dedicate the resources necessary to drafting fulsome comments in response to the Public Notice."
But they also say that the 30-day deadline extension—to March 2 and March 30, should not cause any delay in the auction itself, currently penciled in for early 2016.
In a separate filing in support of the request, the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition said it agrees that it is in the public interest to allow a little more time to analyze "highly technical" proposals, and emphasized that the extension should have no impact on the auction timing, which the coalition says should remain on schedule for early 2016. "A thirty day extension of the comment deadlines should have no bearing on this schedule, and the Coalition encourages the Commission not to deviate from its current timeline. For the foregoing reasons, the public interest," it said.