Walden Salutes Opportunities Coalition Filing

Rep. Says Stations Showing Interest in Auctions, 'If Structured Properly'
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The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition has a friend in a very high place.

House Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) Wednesday (March 13) said in an e-mail that the FCC won't draw a crowd to its incentive auctions unless it heeds the advice of the coalition, comprising some 40-plus stations willing to consider putting their spectrum up for auction.

He said it was good news that stations were showing interest in the auction, "if structured properly."

In an e-mailed piece entitled "Keeping the Incentive in Incentive Auction," Walden cited the coalition's filing of reply comments on the auction this week, calling it ""one of the most important filings in the FCC proceeding..." and associating himself with some of its key non-negotiables.

Those are that 1) the FCC not artificially limit the compensation of broadcasters, that it 2) not exclude any potential bidders, and that it 3) auction all airwaves it clears rather than setting some aside for unlicensed wireless.

"[T]he FCC must encourage as many broadcasters as possible to participate, since without broadcasters there is no spectrum to auction," Walden said. "The FCC must also maximize the amount of money it raises, since the FCC will need to compensate the broadcasters that relinquish spectrum and reimburse broadcasters that relocate, with $7 billion left over for public safety and preferably more to help with the deficit."

He suggested the coalition's filing was a recipe for doing just that.