Last week Congress approved legislation giving the FCC the authority to conduct voluntary incentive auctions.
After a lengthy and often contentious battle pitting the wireless industry and the consumer electronics industry against the broadcast industry, the legislation passed both houses of Congress. While the National Association of Broadcasters was consistent throughout the process, saying it would work with the commission, the association drew a line in the sand.
Cooperation from broadcasters depended on two key concepts. First, there needed to be language in any legislation assuring broadcasters that giving up spectrum and participating in the auction would be truly voluntary. Second, the repacking of TV spectrum to occur after the auction should not reduce the service area of those stations that chose to remain on the air.
Did the industry get what it wanted? In this podcast interview, Dennis Wharton, NAB executive vice president for communications, answers that question.
Watch Dennis Wharton's interview with Michael Grotticelli from NAB 2011
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