FCC Adopts Rules for First Ever Incentive Auction

FCC Adopts Rules for First Ever Incentive AuctionAhead of the weekend, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to implement the Broadcast Television Incentive Auction.

“The two-sided auction will use market forces to recover spectrum from television broadcasters who voluntarily choose to give up some or all of their spectrum usage rights in exchange for incentive payments, in order to auction new spectrum licenses to wireless providers,” the FCC says.

The Incentive Auction will help meet consumers’ “skyrocketing demand” for mobile broadband services.

By the FCC’s own admission, across the country, in both rural and urban areas, consumers and businesses expect to have access to wireless connectivity anywhere, anytime.

“Today, there are more connected devices than there are people in the U.S.,” the FCC said in a written statement, “and about 60 percent of Americans use data-hungry smartphones. By making more spectrum available for mobile broadband use, the Incentive Auction will benefit consumers by easing congestion on wireless networks, expediting the development of new, more robust wireless services and applications and helping fill in coverage gaps particularly in rural America.”

Broadcasters that choose to participate in the auction will bid to receive some of the proceeds from auctioning that spectrum to wireless providers. The auction, says the FCC, represents a “once in a lifetime opportunity for broadcasters,” but the decision of whether or not to participate is entirely voluntary.

To learn more about the Incentive Auction rules adopted, click here.