FCC Likely To Release Auction Order Early Next Week

Broadcasters eager to see fine print on their future
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According to various sources, the FCC is not likely to release the final order on its incentive auction framework order until next week.

Broadcasters had been looking for the 400-plus page order to be released by Friday, but it is now looking like Monday at the earliest.

The FCC voted on the order May 15, but it was a split 3-2 decision along party lines.

Broadcasters will be going over the order with a fine-tooth comb. They are already contemplating taking the FCC to court over its decision to use new OET-69 data and/or methodology (there is a dispute between the FCC and NAB over which it is) to calculate TV station contours for the purposes of repacking after the auction.

In their dissents, Republicans said the item was manipulating the market by limiting wireless bidders, was not necessarily holding broadcasters harmless in the band plan, and may not even be legal.

It was clear that the National Association of Broadcasters would have dissented had they had a vote.

"While NAB acknowledges the incredibly hard work by FCC staff, we are disappointed that today's vote fails the mandate of Congress to hold harmless those broadcasters who choose not to participate in the spectrum auction," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said at the time.

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