FCC

Group Opposes 'Harmonizing' ATSC 3.0 With Auction

Pushes FCC to Keep Early 2016 Start 6/05/2015 10:30 AM Eastern

Dish Network, competitive wireless carriers, tech companies, Public Knowledge and the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition have jointly asked the FCC not to delay the early 2016 start of the broadcast incentive auction for any reason, including to "harmonize it" with the launch of a new transmission standard.

 

The letter is not anti-ATSC 3.0, one of the members points out, just anti-auction delay.

 

That joint request came in a statement filed with the commission, in which they said:

 

"The undersigned broadcasters, wireless carriers, trade associations, think tanks and public interest groups, including supporters of ATSC 3.0, strongly support the planned First Quarter 2016 start of the 600 MHz Incentive Auction. And we oppose delaying the Incentive Auction in an attempt to synchronize TV Station repacking and the transition to ATSC 3.0.  Our opposition to delaying the 600 MHz Incentive Auction does not express a joint position on the ATSC 3.0 standard itself for any purpose."

 

The National Association of Broadcasters has signaled it makes sense to do the transition to the new standard and what amounts to a new DTV transition post-auction at the same time. But with some major members not wanting a delay either, it has urged moving expeditiously to get the standard done rather than publicly push for delaying the auction to do so.

 

Others signing on to the joint statement were the Competitive Carriers Association, COMPTEL, The Consumer Electronics Association, Ellis Communications, Save Wireless Choice Coalition, Sprint, T-Mobile.

 

This week, Gigi Sohn, counselor to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, reiterated the timeline was still early 2016 for the incentive auction.

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