FCC Names Auction Task Force Chief

Ruth Milkman, an aide to FCC Chairman Julius genachowski, is tapped to oversee six others on the new Incentive Auction Task Force.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski got the ball rolling on recovering TV spectrum for wireless broadband today, announcing that he has appointed his aide Ruth Milkman to lead an Incentive Auction Task Force on an interim basis.

“Ruth is well known and respected for her deep knowledge and experience, strong management skills and fair mindedness,” said Genachowski in a statement.

Other members of the task force: Rick Kaplan and Bill Lake, chiefs of the Wireless Telecommunications and Media Bureaus, respectively; Julie Knapp, the head of our Office of Engineering and Technology; Chief Economist Marius Schwartz; Chief Technologist Henning Schulzrinne; and General Counsel Austin Schlick.

President Obama last month signed into law legislation authorizing the FCC to conduct a one-time auction of TV spectrum to wireless carriers as part of its National Broadband Plan to make available to wireless broadband up to 500 MHz in additional spectrum from a variety of sources.

The legislation encourages TV stations to give up some or all of their spectrum voluntarily by allowing them to share in the auction proceeds. That opportunity gives the “incentive auction” its name.

“[T]there’s no doubt that the task ahead will be complex and challenging,” Genachowski said. “Incentive auctions are unprecedented. The legislation, at over 100 pages, raises many difficult issues.

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“I’m confident our staff is up to the challenge. 

“What we’ll see is an implementation process that will be inclusive and participatory; that will be guided by the economics and the engineering; and that will seek to maximize the opportunity to unleash investment and innovation, benefit consumers, drive economic growth and enhance our global competitiveness.

“When the incentive auction of the TV bands is complete, we expect to have a healthy broadcast sector, and a strong, robust, competitive and world-leading mobile industry.”


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