Walden Releases Spectrum Auction Bill


From this article.
Walden Releases Spectrum Auction Bill - 2011-11-29 16:16:49 | Broadcasting & Cable
House Republicans, led by Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) Tuesday introduced their version of an incentive auction bill. It is scheduled to be marked up and voted on in the committee Thursday (Dec. 1).

The bill authorizes the FCC to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters for re-auction and compensate them from the proceeds. It also sets aside money to compensate broadcasters who elect not to give up spectrum for the costs of moving to another channel or sharing channels with another broadcaster, as well as the cost to cable operators of picking up those new signals.

The bill allocates spectrum for an interoperable broadband public safety network, rather than auction it as Walden preferred, but he said in a release announcing the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum, or JOBS, Act that nobody got everything they wanted in the legislation. That also aligns the bill more closely with the Senate version that has already passed out of the Commerce Committee there.

After compensating broadcasters, paying for their move, and setting aside money for operating the public safety network, the bill anticipates having $15 billion left over for deficit reduction.
The bill requires the FCC to "make all reasonable efforts to preserve...the coverage area and population served of each broadcast television licensee," something broadcasters had been pushing for.

Broadcasters who do remain behind will be allowed to use some of their spectrum for nonbroadcast uses in lieu of compensation from the auction so long as they deliver at least one free broadcast stream. Some broadcasters have argued that they could help relieve wireless congestion -- the principal argument the FCC has made for reclaiming the broadcast spectrum -- by using some of their one-to-many spectrum to offload wireless traffic at peak times.

As expected, the bill does not allow the FCC to force broadcasters who remain from trading a UHF channel for a VHF channel, the latter which is not as effective for delivery of DTV.


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"Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum, or JOBS, Act"
There's an inappropriate bit of anacronymistic doublespeak. I can see it now: "Democrats vote against JOBS act!" And of course, the general public has no clue that this bill has absolutely nothing to do with JOBS.
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