WASHINGTON, Sept 6 The U.S. telecommunications
regulator will meet at the end of the month to discuss rules for
an auction where broadcasters will sell spectrum to wireless
carriers, perhaps as early as 2014.
The Federal Communications Commission has been asked by
Congress to encourage broadcasters to sell UHF spectrum, which
is great for mobile data, to wireless carriers that have
complained bitterly about a spectrum crunch as U.S. consumers go
Through the auction, broadcasters would be encouraged to
sell spectrum they do not use, share with other broadcasters to
free up spectrum or move to VHF, which is good for broadcasters
but inadequate for mobile phones and data streaming.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will begin circulating
proposed rules to other commissioners on Friday, with plans to
discuss the proposal at the Sept. 28 FCC meeting, an FCC
The FCC hopes to finalize the rules in the middle of next
year and hold the auction in 2014, the official said.
The official declined to put a dollar value on the potential
sale, saying it would vary widely depending on what spectrum
broadcasters were inclined to give up and how much wireless
companies would be willing to pay.
The National Association of Broadcasters has been pushing to
ensure that the spectrum auctions are entirely voluntary for
broadcasters and that any re-arrangement of spectrum is done in
a way that does not hurt any broadcasters.