WASHINGTON�As previously covered in Digital Radio Update, the bidding among TV stations for the right to vacate their spectrum in exchange for compensation from the FCC begins May 31. This is known as the Incentive auction.�
Broadcasters can bid to surrender their current channel to the FCC so that the FCC can repackage the surrendered spectrum and then sell it in the �Forward Auction� to wireless companies who plan to use it for wireless broadband and other uses. The FCC recently released a Public Noticeannouncing thespectrum clearing targetfor the initial stage of the Incentive Auction will be 126 MHz. If the Incentive Auction is completed in the initial stage with the 126 MHz spectrum clearing target, TV channels 30-36 and 38-51 will be reallocated for mobile broadband and unlicensed wireless services, leaving UHF channels 14-29 for broadcast TV stations (along with VHF channels 2-13 which are not being auctioned). Channel 37 will remain allocated for wireless medical telemetry and radio astronomy�services, with unlicensed services permitted.
An online workshop will originate on May 24 from the FCC�s offices in Washington. It will bestreamed live on the Internetand archived. The workshop, to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern, will cover the process for bidding and will review the bidding software itself. �Given the importance of getting it right in the auction process, as stations have their very existence at stake, it would seem that every auction participant will want to watch the Workshop,� says David Oxenford, in theBroadcastlaw Blog.�
We�re following this topic closely in DRU because the spectrum auction will likely expand the capacity of the big carriers to compete more effectively against traditional broadcasting.��