FCC Issues Anonymous Filing Directive for Incentive Auction Comments

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission is relaxing its comment filing rules to allow anonymous feedback on its TV spectrum incentive auction proposed rulemaking. The intent is to allow TV station owners interested in participating in the auctions to remain unidentified.

“We want to encourage those broadcasters interested in auction participation to raise issues of specific concern to them regarding the incentive auction process so that we may develop a robust record to assist us in devising auction-related rules,” the Public Notice states. “At the same time, we recognize that broadcasters may have legitimate reasons for not wanting to disclose their potential interest in reverse auction participation.”

Existing rules require that comments filed electronically by parties not represented by an attorney provide their names and mailing addresses. Those filing through an attorney may do so anonymously either electronically or by paper. Those wishing to file electronically without an attorney must seek a waiver of the commission rule requiring their name and address. However, the commission asks that broadcasters filing anonymous comments in the incentive auction proceeding include their designated market area tier and network affiliation.