Genachowski holds forth on TV spectrum auction


Julius GenachowskiFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is pleased that his colleagues have a detailed document on spectrum auctions in their hands for consideration prior to a 9/28/12 vote on whether or not to proceed. He says what the FCC proposes to do has never been done before anywhere, and adds that it’s making a special effort to educate broadcasters on the particulars of the program.

Here is Genachowski’s full statement:

“Just two years after the concept of incentive auctions was first proposed in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, and as a result of authority granted through legislation signed into law in February, the Commission is poised to take an important step toward pioneering the world’s first incentive auctions and freeing up significant spectrum for mobile broadband.

“Today, I am pleased to share a detailed proposal for incentive auctions with my colleagues, and I am scheduling a vote for the next Commission meeting on September 28.

 “As smartphones and tablets proliferate, the opportunities to benefit consumers and businesses become clearer every day. In freeing up licensed and unlicensed spectrum for wireless broadband, incentive auctions will drive faster speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile coverage. The mobile experience for millions of consumers and small business owners will improve as a result of successful incentive auctions. These are essential ingredients for innovation and leadership in the 21st century economy where smartphones and tablets powered by 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks are proliferating, and the mobile Internet becomes more important every day. Over the last few years, the U.S. has regained global leadership in mobile innovation – and we must not let up now.

“To ensure ongoing innovation in mobile broadband, we must pursue several strategies vigorously: freeing up more spectrum for both licensed use and for unlicensed services like Wi-Fi; driving faster speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile Internet coverage; and taking additional steps to ensure that our invisible infrastructure for mobile innovation can meet the needs of the 21st century.

 “If adopted, the incentive auction proposal before the Commission will accelerate these strategies. Incentive auctions will help create jobs and strengthen U.S. competitiveness in a world where, increasingly, mobile leadership is required for leadership in the global innovation economy.

 “The proposal would also free up a significant amount of unlicensed spectrum for innovative WiFi-like uses, and create the first uniform, national low-band unlicensed spectrum in any country.

 “Even as the Commission draws on the expertise of the world’s leading economists, auction design experts, and engineers, our ability to maximize the opportunities of spectrum will depend on the active engagement of the public and all stakeholders. I urge broad participation by all. As I’ve stated before, we fully expect this process to strengthen both our mobile and broadcast industries, creating new opportunities and new benefits. In particular, many broadcasters will have a new and unique financial opportunity as a result of incentive auctions. The Commission is committed to making every effort to be a resource to the broadcaster community, which is why we are launching a new ‘Broadcaster LEARN Program,’ designed to empower decision-makers. Through this program, a host of new resources will be available as broadcasters and others participate in the comment process and consider this business decision.

 “I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Commission to maximize the economic and innovation opportunities of spectrum through these incentive auctions.”