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FCC is Taking the Right Steps on Broadcast Incentive Auctions

It’s undeniable that the impending spectrum crunch threatens the “virtuous cycle” of innovation that drives our industry and provides Americans with the hottest wireless devices and services. Without more spectrum, the innovation, consumer satisfaction and America’s status as the world’s wireless leader is at risk. These are the reasons we are so focused on getting more spectrum for our industry.

In our comments to the FCC on the “TV Spectrum Innovation NPRM,” we reiterate the importance of incentive auctions since they will allow the marketplace to determine the highest and most efficient usage of scarce spectrum resources. The NPRM’s proposals for TV broadcast spectrum and technical requirements are excellent first steps to provide the framework for incentive auctions. The identification and repurposing a portion of the underused UHF and VHF frequencies for mobile broadband is a critical step to alleviating the spectrum crunch and enable the continued deployment of next-generation networks.

CTIA continues to advocate for the use of voluntary broadcast incentive auctions. As our joint white paper with CEA showed, incentive auctions for 120 MHz of TV spectrum could net more than $33 billion for the U.S. Treasury. The 120 MHz is crucial to fulfilling the National Broadband Plan’s goal of bringing 500 MHz of spectrum to market in 10 years and to give our member companies the opportunity to continue the innovation that gives U.S. consumers the best wireless experience.

We also support the Commission’s efforts to explore channel sharing opportunities and improvements to VHF spectrum. Broadcasters would substantially benefit through cost savings, enable the development of new programming and strengthen over-the-air broadcasting.

The Commission’s proposals are a win for everyone. Broadcasters can continue to offer over-the-air television (unless they voluntarily decide to surrender their license), the U.S. wireless industry can purchase more spectrum to enable the latest wireless innovations and the U.S. Treasury get an infusion of capital.

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