Television Auction Deadline Looms


auction-chartStations have until 6 p.m. Tuesday to let the FCC know whether they will take part in the spectrum incentive auction.

Stations in the first phase, a reverse auction, may enter into channel-sharing agreements, transition from the UHF to VHF band, move to a lower VHF channel if already on VHF, or relinquish all spectrum and stop broadcasting.

How many television stations take part, and in which markets, will help the commission set clearing targets.

The agency will protect the identity of broadcast owners who elect to take part until results of the reverse auction and the repack are made public. The commission says it will maintain the confidentiality of information from applicants that do not become bidding winners for an additional two years.

The agency hopes to provide as much as 126 MHz of spectrum nationwide from broadcasters. Using spectrum optimization software, the commission will reorganize that spectrum into blocks for wireless companies.

The agency would like to announce the initial clearing target and band plan by the end of April.

Then there will be mock auctions and subsequent bidding in clock rounds.