The Senate Commerce Committee has picked the witnesses for its Dec. 10 oversight hearing on "stakeholder perspectives" on the upcoming incentive auctions.
They are: Gary Epstein, chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force, who was also named by new FCC chair Tom Wheeler as a special advisor on the auction; Joan Marsh. VP of federal regulatory affairs at AT&T; Hal Singer, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute; Steven Berry, president and CEO of the Competitive Carriers Association; Preston Padden, executive director of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, the 70-plus broadcasters interested in selling spectrum to the government at the right price; Rick Kaplan, executive VP at the National Association of Broadcasters and former chief of the FCC's Wireless Bureau, and Harold Feld, senior VP of Public Knowledge.
Padden has already indicated he will tell the committee that the FCC has yet to attract enough potential TV station spectrum sellers.
Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has a major rooting interest in a successful auction. He was one of the architects of the incentive auction legislation, focused mainly on the goal of raising enough money through the auction to pay for a first responder broadband emergency communications network, one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission after the communications failures there.