Unless Congress steps in, the Federal Communications Commission is unlikely
to grant the wireless industry's request to delay the June 19 auction of
spectrum used for TV channels 52 through 69, commissioner Kathleen Abernathy
"I would never say never," but part of the spectrum is needed urgently for
public-safety uses, Abernathy said at a press briefing.
The spectrum, located on the 700-megahertz band, will in part be auctioned to
wireless companies for new broadband services, while almost one-half will be given to
municipalities and other government users.
"We will wait and see what we hear from Congress," Abernathy said.
The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association -- which is lobbying
for rules that would reduce broadcasters' leverage to negotiate lucrative early
buyouts -- said it will petition the FCC for a delay Friday.
Broadcasters generally oppose postponement.