GOP’s Xmas Package: Incentive Auctions

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Washington — Spectrum-incentive auctions are included
in a Republican year-end extender package, according
to a copy of the House GOP Payroll Tax plan
released last week.

According to the package proposals and off sets, one
of the off sets is the $15 billion in predicted defi cit reductions
from the proceeds of spectrum-incentive auctions,
which will be left over after broadcasters are compensated
for surrendering their spectrum and cable and satellite
operators for accommodating stations left behind.
That spectrum would then be auctioned off by the Federal
Communications Commission to pay broadcasters for
moving and pay for an emergency interoperable broadband

The auctions are voluntary.

The bill prevents the FCC from limiting auction participation
by large incumbent wireless carriers or from
putting network-neutrality or wholesaling conditions on
the spectrum.

The House had been expected to incorporate the spectrum
legislation into the must-pass package. The House
Communications Subcommittee two weeks ago passed
the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum
(JOBS) Act, which was essentially incorporated, with
some tweaks, into the package. The bill includes some
Democratic must-pass measure, such as the payroll tax
holiday and unemployment compensation.