FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has been steadfast in his assurance that, despite delays, the 600 MHz broadcast incentive auctions will begin in the first quarter of 2016. Now it appears we have a more concrete, albeit tentative, start date for the proceedings.
As Broadcast Law Blog points out, within the FCC’s list of items currently being circulated among the Commission is an item setting March 29, 2016 as the official start date for auctions. Because it is still being circulated the measure could be subject to change or could be voted down.
Last week the FCC tabled two items—both relating to incentive auction rules—that had previously been on the agenda for the July 16 open meeting. The Commission intends to address those items at its August open meeting.
The latest snag came after Senators Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, and Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, sent a letter to the FCC asking to delay a vote on the rules. At issue were concerns over moving broadcasters into the duplex gap, the frequencies between bands reserved for uploading and downloading.
In 2014, the FCC pushed the incentive auctions back from a tentative mid-2015 start date to early 2016.
Filed Under: Industry regulations