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FCC Open Meeting Docket Includes Incentive Auction Update

The FCC’s has announced its next Open Meeting agenda Agenda for the June 27 Open Commission Meeting and one of the items on the table for discussion is the “Status of the Broadcast Incentive Auction.”

The announcement states that the “Incentive Auction Task Force” will present a progress report on the television broadcast incentive auction.

The reply comment deadline was slightly more than two months ago and I'll be looking for some indication on how the FCC is reacting to the comments.

Based on comments from the commission it appears the split band approach is dead, to be replaced by one of the proposed “51 Down” plans. That would likely be the least controversial decision, although different wireless carriers have different ideas on exactly how it should be implemented.

More controversial is the proposal to use different parameters with the proposed TV Study program when calculating TV station coverage and interference in a repacking. Once a determination is made of the way in which interference and coverage are calculated, the FCC will have to decide how much new interference to allow in a repacking and whether existing areas of interference can be moved to areas now receiving a station's signal without interference. There are also questions about how broadcasters will be reimbursed in the repacking.

Broadcasters aren't the only ones who will be examining the update. Wireless operators have minor disagreements about the band plan, but there’s little agreement on whether or not the major operators should be limited in the amount of spectrum they can obtain in the auction. Smaller carriers want limits, larger carriers don't.

I'll be watching and provide a report and looking for fireworks in my July 4th week RF Report.