Today, the NAB circulated what is best described as another misinformation blog posting masquerading as an economic study by Navigant. Here is a quick response from CEA's Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Julie Kearney, who we worked with on the broadcast spectrum white paper, and me.
The principal points of the paper are:
- You can't have an incentive auction unless broadcasters are incented to participate --boy is that profound!
- You can't look at past auction revenues as a guide for what future auctions would yield (or recent sales prices either) -- want to tell us what would be better indicators Mr. Eisenach?
- You don't know all the details of what the FCC might decide...so let's just ignore the whole thing and hope it goes away.
- Last, but not least, the NAB funded piece never offers any alternative predictions of auction revenues or what would incent broadcasters to participate -- why put your facts on the table when taking pot shots is safer and more fun?
It also is telling that the author of the NAB piece either never read the CTIA/CEA study or chose to intentionally misrepresent what was actually said. Besides, it's better to create a fictitious straw man than to deal in a fact-based way with a serious issue facing our country.
Come on Navigant and NAB, let's get real.
CTIA/CEA believe that incentive auctions will provide substantial public interest benefits:
- For broadcasters who choose to participate, the mechanism will allow spectrum to be moved to a higher economic purpose in an efficient manner.
- For broadcasters who wish to continue to be broadcasters, the incentive auction means only that they may be required to change channels at no cost to them.
In short, incentive auctions present the exact kind of “win-win” proposition that should be welcomed by all affected parties, including NAB members.
The CTIA/CEA white paper presents verifiable data -- not hyperbole as presented by NAB and Navigant -- that demonstrates the potential positive outcome presented by incentive auctions.