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NAB Asks Chairman's Office to Engage More Directly on Repacking - Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Asks Chairman's Office to Engage More Directly on Repacking

Says giving stakeholders more info now could save revisions later
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The National Association of Broadcasters is urging acting
FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn's office to be more transparent about how the FCC
plans to repack TV stations after the incentive auctions.

In a meeting with Clyburn staffers last week, according to
FCC documents, NAB executive VP Rick Kaplan and other association officials
signaled they were ready to roll up their sleeves and tackle outstanding
issues, but said that the FCC needed to engage "more directly with outside
stakeholders."

While NAB said the FCC was pleased to get more input
on repacking software from the commission
, he also asked staffers "to
engage more directly with external stakeholders on the repacking model
itself." NAB says that no one outside the commission or its contractors
has "any information" about the important decisions being made on the
repacking model, which has not been released, or any idea when it will be
released.

"[T]he staff could save significant time and effort by
engaging stakeholders at this juncture as opposed to waiting until the final
proposal is complete," the association says, adding that that could save
"significant after-the-fact revisions."

NAB also urged the FCC to lift its freeze on station
modification applications or immediately put out an order. The FCC has frozen
those moves until it figures out the repacking plan.

The repacking plan is essentially how the FCC will reconfigure
the spectrum band to fit both broadcasters and wireless companies, including TV
stations moving, giving up spectrum and sharing. NAB has likened it to a second
DTV transition.

The FCC had no comment, but at a recent hearing,
FCC auction point man Gary Epstein pointed out that the FCC had held four
workshops, issues public notices, collected 460 comments and spoken with NAB
more than 15 times. "We welcome their engagement," he said.

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