FCC Sets Spectrum Auction Timeline

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Venture capitalist Tom Wheeler, US President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), attends the announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2013.
National Journal
Laura Ryan
Dec. 6, 2013, 9:34 a.m.

The Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion re­leased a timeline Fri­day for the much-an­ti­cip­ated spec­trum auc­tion, and it shows that FCC Chair­man Tom Wheel­er ex­pects the auc­tion to hap­pen mid-2015, a year later than ori­gin­ally an­ti­cip­ated.

A de­tailed timeline and policy re­com­mend­a­tions will be pro­posed at the com­mis­sion’s Janu­ary 2014 meet­ing, which will be voted on later in the spring.

Policy, pro­ced­ure, and func­tion­ing tech­no­logy are the key in­gredi­ents to a suc­cess­ful auc­tion, Wheel­er said in a blog post Fri­day.

Wheel­er noted the im­port­ance of mak­ing ad­di­tion­al spec­trum avail­able, as well as provid­ing ad­di­tion­al funds for First­Net, but he also stress the im­port­ance of do­ing it right.

“These im­per­at­ives are bal­anced with the re­cog­ni­tion that we have but one chance to get the in­cent­ive auc­tion right,” wrote Wheel­er.

The Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Broad­casters, CTIA-The Wire­less As­so­ci­ation, and T-Mo­bile have praised the move.

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