The coalition of broadcasters looking to sell their specturm in the FCC incentive auction told agency officials that key changes in how the agency conducts the auction will encourage more stations to participate and help the FCC achieve its goal of recovering 126 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband.
Representatives of broadcasters interested in selling TV spectrum in the FCC’s planned 2016 incentive auction visited key agency staff yesterday, arguing for changes in the auction that they believe would not only yield more money for broadcasters, but also increase the likelihood of the FCC recovering 126 MHz of spectrum that it could resell to wireless carriers for $80 billion.
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition led by Executive Director Preston Padden argued that the FCC should increase its opening bids in the reverse auction it will use to buy spectrum in light of the $45 billion the agency earned in its AWS-3 auction, according the EOBC’s synopsis of the meeting filed with the FCC.
“The commission cannot justify from a legal or policy standpoint offering vastly different starting prices — prices hundreds of millions of dollars apart in many cases — to stations with nearly the identical impact on clearing spectrum,” the EOBC said.
“Accordingly, the coalition urged the commission to revise its formula to reduce, if not eliminate, the price disparity between stations with similar spectrum clearing impact.”
The ECOC also argued that the FCC should:
- Replace its proposed Dynamic Reserve Pricing with a Round Zero Reserve Price. The latter would provide broadcasters with greater certainty and would result in less spectrum impairment, it said.
- Provide participating broadcasters with far more information during the auction to enable them to make more informed decisions about their bids.
- Set its near-nationwide spectrum clearing target based on the maximum amount of spectrum that can be cleared in New York or Los Angeles, whichever is greater.
- Stick to its plan to begin the auction in early 2016.