Would launch the process of broadcaster relocation and spectrum auctioning
By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 12/9/2011 1:36:37 PM
As expected, providing the FCC with authority to compensate broadcasters for moving off spectrum was included in the Republican’s end-of-year legislative package, which was released Friday.
The package, which includes Democrat must-pass legislation like the payroll tax holiday extension and unemployment benefits, generally incorporates the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act, a House Communications Subcommittee version of spectrum incentive auction authority that passed out of that committee last week.
The bill gives the FCC the authority to pay broadcasters for reclaiming some of their spectrum — it already has the authority to reclaim it, just not to pay for the privilege — and sets up a mechanism to auction it for wireless broadband, though technically anyone could bid on it. It uses some of the proceeds from that auction to compensate broadcasters — it does not say how much — and to build a broadband emergency communications network, with the rest, an estimated $15 billion going to deficit reduction. (read more)