South Carolina Republican legislators have written to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn to say that the FCC should be able to repack TV stations after the incentive auctions using the $1.75 billion set aside for the move by Congress.
Broadcasters are concerned that rather than budgeting the money to cover all the moves, the FCC might run out and then put the cost on broadcasters.
"The $1.75 billion figure should give the Commission all the flexibility it needs to repack hundreds of stations, if necessary, while working with those broadcasters who elect to continue to serve their local communities, especially outlying rural areas. The FCC is targeting urban areas where spectrum is in greater demand, so rural areas are more likely not be asked -- or allowed, in some cases -- to put up spectrum for auction," the legislators said.
The legislators also asked the FCC to limit the number of stations repacked and perhaps even save excess money from that $1.75 billion to return to the Federal Treasury.
They said they do not argue with the need for the auction.
Signing on to the letter were Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Reps. Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Rice. The state's only Democrat -- James Clyburn, who also happens to be the acting chairwoman's father -- did not sign on to the letter.