FCC chairman Julius Genachowski Tuesday gave an “open, transparent and data-driven” shout-out to the new Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, which is being organized by former broadcast exec and one-time Association for Independent Television Stations president Preston Padden.
“Incentive auctions will offer significant opportunities for broadcasters – both those that will take advantage of a once in a lifetime financial opportunity, and those that will choose to continue to be a part of a healthy and diverse broadcast marketplace,” said Genachowski in response to the creation of the coalition. “I welcome the participation of the new Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition in our rulemaking process as the Commission engages all stakeholders in a manner that is open, transparent and data-driven. “
The FCC is working on final rules and a framework for its reverse incentive auctions, part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to free up spectrum for wireless broadband. The FCC has targeted a mid-2013 vote on final rules, and has held webinars and a workshop with broadcasters to help answer their questions and solicit input on the process. Broadcasters wil have the option of selling some or all of their spectrum or remaining in the business, though not necessarily on the same channel. The FCC will have to repack broadcasters to make room for contiguous swaths of spectrum for national wireless footprints.