FCC to discuss rules for 2014 spectrum auction

07 September 2012 |


US regulator the FCC is reportedly due to meet at the end of September to discuss rules for an auction to make more spectrum available to wireless operators.

The arrangement of the meeting follows a request by congress for the FCC to encourage the country’s broadcasters to sell their UHF spectrum to carriers, which are complaining that they are unable to cope with rising mobile data demand from customers.

Broadcasters will be encouraged to sell spectrum they do not use and share with their competitors, to free up additional bands, and to consider moving to VHF frequency, which is effective for broadcasting but not for mobile services.

An FCC official told Reuters that the regulator’s Chairman, Julius Genachowski, will begin circulating proposed rules to other commissioners today, with plans to discuss the proposal at a meeting on September 28.

No estimation of the potential value of the sale was given as it would be dependent on the spectrum given up by broadcasters, and how much operators were willing to pay.

Elsewhere the National Association of Broadcasters has reportedly been pressuring to ensure that broadcasters are not forced to take part in spectrum auctions and their interests are protected.
 
The FCC hopes to finalise the rules for the auction in mid-2013 and hold it in 2014.