FCC votes to begin spectrum-auction process

By Dru Sefton

The five-member FCC today voted unanimously to begin the process of reclaiming broadcast spectrum to auction for wireless broadband use, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

Commissioners adopted the Incentive Auction Notice of Proposed Rule-Making, and now seek comment from stakeholders and the public on its recommendation for handling the massive undertaking.

The auction, to open up bandwidth for mobile devices, will happen in three phases: TV broadcasters will offer spectrum for the lowest price, the FCC will repack remaining stations into a smaller section of the spectrum, and the freed-up spectrum will go to the highest bidder.

The FCC is seeking comment on issues including auction design, repacking, unlicensed use of spectrum and transition deadlines.

Congress authorized the auctions in February (Current, Feb. 28).

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