FCC spectrum auction is delayed until 2016

FCC spectrum auction is delayed until 2016
An FCC auction of spectrum that is currently used by television stations for broadcasting, has been delayed until 2016. The auction was originally scheduled to take place in the middle of 2015, and will allow the television stations involved to share in the proceeds of the auction if they agree to move their signal to a new spot on the "electromagnetic spectrum". The plan is for enough broadcast stations to agree to the terms so as to open up more airwaves for the constantly spectrum-starved mobile carriers.

The delay is necessary because of a pending lawsuit filed by the National Association of Broadcasters. Additionally, the FCC is hoping that more stations will agree to the swap thus increasing the amount of spectrum being auctioned. The problem, according to those broadcasters taking part in the auction, is that they could lose some of their coverage area once they give up their current spectrum. Stations affiliated with NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX are not expected to participate.

With the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not calling for final briefs until January 2015, the FCC has decided to push back the auction until early 2016. However, the N.A.B. denies that it is the reason for the auction delay. "We reject suggestions that our narrowly focused lawsuit is cause for delay," said Dennis Wharton, executive vice president for communications for the association.

This is the second time that the auction has been delayed. Back in December 2013, the auction was pushed back from 2014 to 2015.

source: FCC via NewYorkTimes

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