WASHINGTON, D.C. — A K Street science and tech policy think tank has urged the FCC, and broadcasters, to keep the forward momentum as the incentive auction comes to a close on March 30.
In a statement, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Telecom Policy Analyst Doug Brake believes it’s time for the FCC and other stakeholders to work together “to ensure the hasty deployment of this spectrum so that consumers and the entire economy can reap the benefits as quickly as possible.”
While the $19.63 billion bidding total might not be as eye-popping as some had imagined, Brake gives the spectrum auction a thumbs up.
“This auction was a success and transferred a significant amount of spectrum to highly valued mobile broadband services,” he said. “It is a testament to the two-sided auction as a mechanism for reallocating spectrum.”
He continued, “The benefits to mobile users and the economy flow not just from spectrum being transferred, but its actual use—equipment must be built out and turned on. Before this can happen, affected broadcasting services have to be re-organized to fit within remaining spectrum. This ‘repacking’—overseen by the FCC—will be a complicated, coordinated process achieved over a number of phases to minimize disruption to broadcasters. Ultimately though, the faster this repacking process takes place, clearing this fresh spectrum to be put into service, the sooner we see the true benefits of this historic auction.”