FCC Moves Spectrum Policy Comment Deadlines

Won't Keep Deadlines That Fall Close to Holidays
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In what amounts to a holiday gift to communications lawyers, as well as extra time for everyone to ponder the issue, the FCC has moved the comment deadlines for its proposed spectrum-holding policies from the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) and Christmas Eve.

The new deadlines are Nov. 28 for comments and Jan. 7 on reply comments.

"Given the proximity of the filing deadlines to two federal holidays, as well as our desire to encourage thoughtful consideration of the important issues raised in this proceeding, we believe that a grant of additional time within which to file comments and reply comments will help to facilitate careful and deliberate consideration of these matters," said Wireless Bureau chief Ruth Milkman in announcing the new dates.

The rulemaking proposal could determine the degree of participation in the upcoming spectrum incentive auctions by major players like AT&T and Verizon because it could change how the FCC determines local market spectrum concentration.

While the FCC, by statute, cannot exclude companies from bidding in the forward auction for wireless spectrum, it can affect participation through what level of spectrum concentration triggers further commission scrutiny.