FCC approves draft for 2014 incentive auction
The US regulator FCC has approved a draft plan to use an incentive auction model, allowing broadcasters willing to surrender their spectrum to share in the proceeds of its sale.
The transfer of broadcast spectrum for use by mobile operators is considered crucial in the increasingly spectrum hungry US wireless market.
A spate of deals in recent months have seen billionson dollars spent by carriers as they look to improve their holdings in a bid to cope with booming consumer data demand.
The auction will have three phases, beginning with a reverse auction allowing broadcast TV licence holders to submit a bid to hand over their usage rights in exchange for payments.
This will be followed by a repacking of parts of the broadcast spectrum to free it up for other uses. A third phase would see an auction of initial licences for flexible use of the spectrum.
The FCC said it was now consulting on the details of the three phases to decide on the auction format and different aspects of refarming the spectrum.