FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has put his stamp on the incentive auctions, agreeing to move the auction date to make sure the FCC gets it right. It’s a victory for the National Association of Broadcasters, which has long made that point. It’s also a victory for common sense.
The FCC has until 2022 to complete the auction and repacking process, which involves arguably the most complicated auction ever and reads like an Olympics figure skating competition: A double combination reverse and forward auction with a twist—repacking broadcasters that don’t participate.
Wheeler clearly recognizes he’s going to own this auction and it’s going to define his chairmanship. By slowing the pace a bit, he has made a good start.