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LEARN to school broadcasters on reverse auctions

The Federal Communications Commission launched a program Sept. 28 to educate television broadcasters about reverse auctions, a key component of its incentive auction Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announced the same day.

The LEARN, or Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now, program will provide information to broadcasters about financial opportunities stemming from the incentive auction and connect with broadcasters during the planning, design and execution of the incentive auction process.

“Incentive auctions are a win for broadcasters — 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,” said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in an agency statement announcing LEARN.

Incentive auctions are key component of the FCC’s strategy for making more spectrum available for mobile broadband service. First proposed as part of the agency’s National Broadband Plan, incentive auctions will compensate television broadcasters that relinquish some or all of their 6MHz channels from a portion of the proceeds of an auction of the spectrum. In February 2012, Congress authorized the FCC to conduct incentive auctions.

The FCC has scheduled the first LEARN Program workshop for Friday, Oct. 26. The agency also has launched a new webpage to act as a central resource for the collection of auction-related material.

The Web destination will provide:

  • Dates and time for onsite and online FCC and third-party education sessions;
  • Links to live, interactive webinars;
  • Incentive auction FAQs;
  • Archived FCC presentations and webcasts;
  • A summary of proposed auction designs;
  • Rulemakings and related FCC proceedings;
  • Links to helpful third-party material;
  • A dedicated email box for questions.