The New Broadband Plan

The FCC’s Broadband Plan is due to Congress March 17. One of the goals of the plan is to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for broadband over the next decade. The reclamation of TV spectrum is part of that plan. This “Mobile Future Auction,” would allow existing spectrum licensees “such as television broadcasters in spectrum-starved markets, to voluntarily relinquish spectrum in exchange for a share of auction proceeds, and allow spectrum sharing and other spectrum efficiency measures.”

What a great deal that would be: give up something that is scarce and valuable for a kiss and a promise that you might get a small piece of some auction price when companies are already paying rock bottom prices for spectrum at auction.

Who’s going to control the auction? Who’s going to get the lion’s share of the auction proceeds? Who’s going to set the minimums and reserve bids? Why should broadcaster even contemplate “voluntarily” relinquishing such valuable spectrum? Are you nuts?  The FCC has already gamed the FM allocation process without shame, why would broadcasters be willing to be led to the slaughter again? Man, we’d better get our big guns ready this time.

That’s 30 For Now…For What It’s Worth