Aug 19 The National Association of Broadcasters
filed a petition to review certain elements of the U.S. Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) planned airwaves auction next
year, arguing that the sale would adversely impact TV stations.
The so-called incentive auction will give TV stations that
currently own the valuable frequencies the opportunity to
voluntarily give up their frequencies to the FCC. The FCC then
would repackage them and auction them to wireless carriers,
which are clamoring for faster speeds and better services for
In its review petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday, the NAB
challenged FCC's decision to change the methodology used to
predict local television coverage areas and the population
"Under this new methodology, many broadcast licensees,
including NAB's members, will lose coverage area and population
served during the auction's repacking and reassignment process,"
the advocacy group for America's broadcasters said in its
The change will hurt viewership of TV stations after the FCC
repackages the frequencies or will force many TV stations to
take part in the auction, the NAB said.
"The FCC order oversteps congressional mandate and is likely
to cause significant harm to broadcast television," said Rick
Kaplan, NAB's executive vice president of strategic planning.
The NAB said it does not want to delay the auction and the
lawsuit is an attempt to put the auction back on track.
The wireless trade group CTIA said the auction will be "a
win for broadcasters, wireless companies and consumers."
"While we would prefer to work together collaboratively to
address NAB's concerns rather than resort to litigation, we are
hopeful the court addresses these issues quickly and that the
NAB adheres to its commitment for an expedited process without
unnecessary delays," CTIA said in a statement.
The FCC was not immediately available for comment outside
regular U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar