This week the United Kingdom completed its five-year transition from analog to digital broadcast television operations.  The switch to digital has allowed broadcasters in the UK to offer more channels and high-definition television services to the public.  In addition, the transition freed up spectrum that the UK government will auction for fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services in the upcoming year. 
Continue Reading Spectrum Watch: UK Completes Digital Television Transition, With Plans to Auction Freed Up Spectrum for 4G Services Within a Year

As we reported previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions (“NPRM”), along with an accompanying paper by auction specialists Auctionomics and Power Auctions.

In this post, we describe the proposed rules for the incentive auction and the “repacking” of broadcast spectrum. The incentive auction is made up of three parts: (1) a reverse auction, in which broadcasters may bid to sell spectrum rights; (2) a forward auction, in which mobile carriers may bid to purchase spectrum rights; and (3) a repacking process, in which the FCC will reconfigure broadcast television allotments to take up a smaller portion of the UHF band ― thereby maximizing the amount of spectrum that could be made available in the forward auction.

As the NPRM explains, all three of these pieces are interdependent.  “[T]he amount of spectrum available in the forward auction will depend on reverse auction bids and repacking, winning reverse auction bidders will be paid from the forward auction proceeds, and our repacking methodology will help to determine which reverse auction bids we accept and what channels we assign the broadcast stations that remain on the air.  For the incentive auction to succeed, all three pieces must work together.”

Continue Reading Spectrum Watch: A Closer Look at the FCC’s Proposed Rules for First-Ever Incentive Auction and Repacking of Broadcast Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has requested comments on a Petition for Reconsideration concerning the FCC’s commercial volume rules.  These rules, which implement the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (“CALM”) Act, require television broadcasters, digital cable operators, and other digital multichannel video programming distributors to follow a technical standard that is designed to prevent television