FCC Launches 'Broadcaster LEARN' Program on Incentive Auctions

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission today announced the launch of its new “Broadcaster Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now Program.” The LEARN Program is designed to offer broadcasters valuable information about the financial opportunities of incentive auctions, and to engage the broadcaster community throughout the entire incentive auction planning, design and execution processes.

“Incentive auctions are a win for broadcasters,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in the statement announcing the program. “Both those that will take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunity, and those that will choose to continue to be a part of an even healthier and diverse broadcast marketplace.

“We are focused on ensuring that the incentive auction process is open, transparent, and data-driven, and are committed to educate all stakeholders, including through the Broadcaster LEARN Program, which is designed to inform and empower broadcaster decision-makers as they participate in our comment process and consider this business decision.”

Incentive auctions were first proposed in the 2010 National Broadband Plan and authorized by Congress last February. Broadcasters who voluntarily relinquish spectrum would receive a portion of the auction proceeds generated by that spectrum.

The first LEARN Program workshop is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. More details on this workshop will be announced soon, the FCC said. In addition, the commission has launched a new website, www.fcc.gov/LEARNprogram, which will serve as a central resource for a collection of auction-related material, including:

  • Dates and time for onsite and online FCC and third-party education sessions
  • Links to live, interactive webinars
  • Incentive Auction FAQs
  • Archived FCC presentations & webcasts
  • A summary of proposed auction designs
  • Rule-makings and related FCC proceedings
  • Links to helpful third-party material
  • A dedicated email box for questions (learn@fcc.gov)

The commission said materials for the LEARN Program will continue to develop and be supplemented over time, and additions to the website will be announced as they become available.