Incentive Auction is Eight Months Away

WASHINGTON—Eight months remain to plan for the Television Spectrum Incentive auction. The Federal Communications Commission is considering a date certain of March 29, 2016, reflecting its previously stated goal of getting it done during the first quarter of next year.

David Oxenford of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, found the date in the FCC’s Items on Circulation on Friday, a day after the commission was originally set to vote on it and several other auction components. The item simply states: “Broadcast Incentive Auction to Begin March 29, 2016; Procedures for Competitive Bidding in Auction 1000, Including Initial Clearing Target Determination, Qualifying to Bid, and Bidding in Auctions 1001 (Reverse) and 1002 (Forward) ”

The date is not yet set in stone, as Oxenford wrote in Broadcast Law Blog, “One cautionary note, this notice with the March 29 date refers merely to an item being circulated—it could be voted down or modified before it becomes final. This date, as well as detailed procedures for the auction, will become more definitive after the FCC meeting on August 6. But this notice certainly gives us a look at where the FCC is heading in their incentive auction planning.”