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Court Approves NAB Request to Expedite Auction Lawsuit

WASHINGTON—The United States Court of Appeals has granted NAB’s request for expedited consideration of its lawsuit against the FCC over certain portions of the commission’s upcoming spectrum auction next year.

In an order issued today, the court, based in the District of Columbia, set up a schedule that would begin with a petitioner’s brief due by Oct. 6, 2014 with Final Briefs slated for Dec. 18, 2014. The court warned that the schedule could be altered if additional petitions for review are filed. It also requested that the involved parties clarify their arguments to accelerate the process by avoiding the overuse of acronyms, particularly from those entities "that are not widely known.”

In August, the NAB filed suit against the FCC in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, claiming that the commission’s use of a new software program to determine broadcast coverage areas after spectrum auctions will negatively affect coverage for those stations not participating in the spectrum auctions.

A week after filing the suit, the association asked the court to sidestep the normal timeline for review and expedite the process, claiming that a decision made after the auctions commence could cause jeopardize the auction’s success.