At noon Tuesday, the FCC will launch its effort to reclaim spectrum, officially opening its application window and releasing form 177, the application form broadcasters can start using to register their interest in putting spectrum into the upcoming incentive auction.
The FCC is trying to free up as much as 126 MHz for re-auctioning for wireless broadband, depending on how many stations are willing to either give up their spectrum completely, give it up and share with another station, or move to a different channel as the FCC repacks the remaining broadcasters into a smaller space.
The application is not a commitment to participate, but only those who apply by the deadline of 6 p.m. Jan. 12 can participate.
The FCC is also holding a workshop Tuesday to walk broadcasters through application and process.
The auction is still slated to begin March 29, though that is only the date by which applicants have to make their final commitments or decide not to participate. The actual bidding won't start for several weeks after that.