Paxson Communications Corp. chairman Bud Paxson called a press conference
Tuesday to lambaste the wireless industry's plan to ask the Federal Communications Commission to delay, for a
sixth time, the auction of TV channels 60 through 69, now scheduled for June.
"Delaying the auction again will deny this spectrum to the public-safety
community for many more years," Paxson said. "Instead, broadcasters will operate
analog stations on those channels well into the next decade."
While much part of the spectrum, located on the 700-megahertz band, will be slated
for public-safety agencies, roughly one-half will be sold to wireless companies and
other providers of advanced telecommunications services.
Paxson is eager for the auction to commence because the buyers are expected
to negotiate lucrative buyouts that will clear TV stations from the band well
before they are required to vacate -- at the completion of the more-or-less
open-ended digital-TV transition.
The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association criticized Paxson
for attacking a delay request that is still being written.
"Paxson's hell-bent-for-auction attitude is so strong that he objects to our
filing even before it is submitted!"
CTIA president Tom Wheeler said. "When we file, we will explain the policy issues
involved. In the interim, however, it is clear that to hold an auction in June
would make the FCC the croupier collecting the ante for the real game: the
subsequent private auction of spectrum the broadcasters received for free,
promised to give back and now want to use for personal enrichment by exploiting
a carefully crafted legislative loophole."