Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the full text of its widely-anticipated proposed rules for an incentive auction of television spectrum and broadcast “repacking” process that will accompany the auction.  (The FCC had voted to adopt these proposed rules on Friday, but had not released the text until yesterday.)  The proposed rules address three principal issues: (1) the reverse auction, whereby broadcasters would voluntarily agree to return all or a portion of their spectrum in exchange for a share of proceeds from the forward auction; (2) the forward auction, wherein wireless carriers bid on the freed-up broadcast spectrum; and (3) the (involuntary) repacking of broadcast spectrum to into a smaller television band.

Of important note, the FCC anticipates a relatively fast-moving process that aims to hold the incentive auction in 2014, with the repacking following thereafter. This goal means that the FCC would have to adopt incentive auction rules by the middle of 2013.  Comments in response to the NPRM are due December 21, 2012 and reply comments are due February 19, 2012.

Continue Reading SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Incentive Auction Rulemaking