FCC chairman Julius Genachowski will address broadcasters at the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Monday, April 16, 2012 at 2:30 p.m., the association said.
Genachowski’s remarks will the first to such a large group of television broadcasters since Congress gave his agency the authority to conduct voluntary incentive auctions as part of the payroll tax break extension last month.
The FCC has long sought such authority in order to clear some 300MHz of spectrum used for DTV transmission so that it can be repurposed and auctioned off to meet what the Genachowski has alternately described as a “spectrum crisis” and “spectrum crunch” created by burgeoning wireless broadband demand. The FCC first floated the idea of voluntary incentive auctions as a means of clearing spectrum in its National Broadband Plan released two years ago.
"With the FCC poised to tackle the incentive auction legislation and many other critical regulatory issues this year, the chairman's address presents a welcome opportunity to engage in productive dialogue on issues that impact the future of broadcasting," said NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith in a press statement announcing Genachowski’s participation in this year’s industry gathering.
Twice before, Genachowski has addressed NAB Show attendees to lay out his vision for spectrum use in the United States and to make the case for voluntary incentive auctions.
This year’s address will be the first opportunity the chairman has had to discuss how he sees incentive auctions taking place. Broadcasters in attendance will also be listening for more information about Genachowski’s plans for repacking DTV spectrum, how the agency will proceed making its best effort to minimize harmful interference and what the future holds if too few TV licensees agree to go out of business or share a 6MHz channel with another licensee to achieve the 300MHz goal.
Before joining the FCC as chairman, Genachowski spent more than 10 years working in the technology industry as an executive and entrepreneur. Prior to that, he served as chief counsel to FCC chairman Reed Hundt and special counsel to then-FCC general counsel William Kennard, who later was named chairman.