FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s response to the president’s call for Title II was appropriately measured, and contained advice that is of more general applicability. “Ten years have passed since the Commission started down the road towards enforceable Open Internet rules,” said the chairman. “We must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all, in order to successfully protect consumers and innovators online.”
Those words echo advice broadcasters have given the FCC about the incentive auction, which is also years down a road the FCC is trying to pave. Broadcasters have challenged the FCC’s auction framework, pointing out that if the agency gets it wrong in a rush to free up spectrum for wireless, the consequences could be grave for their future viability.
We hope, as the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition has suggested, the FCC can tweak its calculations of interference and signal coverage without too much impact on the auction timeline. But if not, there’s no rush beyond a 2022 statutory deadline for completing the auction and repacking.
To quote a wise man, “the FCC must take the time to get the job done correctly, once and for all.”