NAB challenges parts of FCC’s plan for spectrum auction

The National Association of Broadcasters filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Monday to challenge part of the FCC’s spectrum incentive auction order filed last week.

NAB said it had no alternative but to file the lawsuit because the order as written could leave broadcasters footing the bill for tower relocation and other expenses when the spectrum is repacked.

NAB also aims to have the court direct the FCC to drop a study that it plans to do ahead of repacking to determine broadcasters’ coverage areas. NAB said following the study, which would use a different methodology from previous surveys, could harm its members.

“Under this new methodology, many broadcast television licensees, including NAB’s members, will lose coverage area and population served during the auction’s repacking and reassignment process, or be forced to participate in the auction (and relinquish broadcast spectrum rights),” the lawsuit reads.

NAB said that while it felt it had no alternative other than to pursue litigation, its goal was not to slow the auction process.

CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents the wireless industry that will be buying up spectrum, issued a press release Friday urging that the problems be worked out without disrupting the auction.

“While we would prefer to work together collaboratively to address NAB’s concerns rather than resort to litigation, we are hopeful the court addresses these issues quickly and that the NAB adheres to its commitment for an expedited process without unnecessary delays,” CTIA said.

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