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Category Archives: Spectrum

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The Auction is Coming . . . Make Sure Your Station is Protected

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
As the Federal Communications Commission continues to move toward an Incentive Auction in early 2016, the Commission is reminding full power and Class A television stations that there are certain actions they should take to make sure their facilities are subject to protection in the repacking process or eligible for relinquishment in the auction. All… Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadlines for Comments About Proposed Procedures for Incentive Auction

Posted in Spectrum
UPDATE 1/30/2015: The FCC has once again extended the comment deadline.  Comments are now due on 2/20/2015; replies are still due on 3/13/2015. The FCC’s Wireless Bureau today announced that it is providing parties with two additional weeks to submit their comments in response to the Auction Comment Public Notice.  You can read our summary… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Public Notice Proposing Starting Prices, Repack Optimization Factors, and Other Incentive Auction Details

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released its Auction Comment Public Notice (Comment PN), which the Commission adopted by a 3-2 party-line vote at its December 11, 2014 open meeting.  The Comment PN proposes certain procedures that the FCC will follow in the forthcoming broadcast incentive auction and the subsequent repacking of broadcast… Continue Reading

FCC Reveals Potential Auction Compensation for Broadcasters

Posted in Corporate/Business, Spectrum, Transactions
Full-power TV stations in Los Angeles could receive as much as $570 million for participating in the incentive auction and relinquishing their spectrum, according to a report prepared by an investment firm and released by the FCC today.  The report provides estimated compensation on a market-by-market basis, including the maximum and median compensation for full-power… Continue Reading

FCC Announces New Wireless Microphone Proceeding

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Spectrum
The FCC announced today a new rulemaking proceeding designed to address the long-term needs of wireless microphone users.  The new NPRM comes on the heels of the Incentive Auction Order, where the Commission decided to eliminate the current two reserved channels for wireless microphones.  In a news release, the FCC acknowledges that “following the incentive… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Draft TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund Reimbursement Form

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Spectrum
The FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Public Notice today seeking comment on a draft TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund Reimbursement Form (“Reimbursement Form”), which broadcasters and MVPDs will use to submit information necessary to get reimbursed for their expenses incurred during the post-auction repacking process.  Comments on the Reimbursement Form are due October 27, 2014. Congress allocated… Continue Reading

GAO Report Explains Sponsorship Identification Rules for Issue Ads Aired by Television and Radio Stations and Reaffirms Death of Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, First Amendment, GAO Reports, Political Broadcasting, Program Content, Spectrum
The General Accountability Office (“GAO”) has issued a report regarding the disclosure requirements that apply to, and broadcaster practices concerning, content that affects broadcasters’ interests and may be intended to influence Congress.  The GAO report responds to a request of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has supported legislation requiring radio stations to pay performance royalties… Continue Reading

Where To From Here? Next Steps in the FCC Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum, Transactions
It has been more than four months now since the FCC adopted a Report and Order for the forthcoming incentive auction of television broadcast spectrum.  The Report and Order provided a framework for the reverse auction, where television stations will bid to relinquish some or all of their spectrum rights; the forward auction, where wireless… Continue Reading

Federal Register Publication Begins Flurry of Activity In Incentive Auction Proceeding

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
The FCC’s Report and Order in the incentive auction proceeding was published today in the Federal Register—the first in a series of events that will occur over the next several months in advance of the incentive auction of broadcast spectrum. Based on today’s publication date, petitions for reconsideration of the Incentive Auction Report and Order… Continue Reading

FCC: Busy 2014 Precedes Mid-2015 Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Corporate/Business, Spectrum, Transactions
The FCC continues to target mid-2015 for conducting the incentive auction, according to an Estimated Timeline of Key Events released today.  To realize that goal, the FCC plans to release in the fast-approaching third quarter of 2014 the “Auction Comment Public Notice,” which, as detailed in a previous post, will seek comment on: The methodology… Continue Reading

The Incentive Auction Report and Order Is Coming: What Broadcasters Need to Know

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to adopt a Report and Order in the broadcast spectrum incentive auction proceeding.  The Report and Order will establish the framework for the incentive auction and the subsequent repacking of television stations.  Although some details of the Report and Order were still unresolved last week, when the… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Repacking Timeline and Expenses

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, Spectrum
If hundreds of television stations had to modify their facilities and change their broadcast channels at roughly the same time, how long would it take and how much would it cost?  The FCC wants to know, and it is seeking input from broadcasters and other stakeholders to find out. On March 20, 2014, the FCC’s… Continue Reading

Drones for Commercial Use—Not Yet Legally Off the Ground

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Broadcast Technology, First Amendment, Privacy, Spectrum
Drones are making headlines.  Following the story of the off-duty Connecticut television station photographer who has now filed a federal lawsuit against the Harford police alleging civil rights violations because they stopped him from using his drone at the scene of a fatal car accident, I’m reflecting.  Back to the days when I was advocating… Continue Reading

How Companies Can Violate the False Claims Act—And What to Do About It

Posted in Spectrum
Historically, investigations and suits under the False Claims Act have focused on the health care and defense industries.  More recently, such probes have become routine in other industries, including communications and technology.  In this article, previously published in BNA’s Telecommunications Law Resource Center, Wiley Rein’s Mark B. Sweet, Eve Klindera Reed, and Joshua S. Turner… Continue Reading

The Auction Block: Options for Broadcasters in the TV Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
This is the first part in a multi-part series about what the forthcoming incentive auction of broadcast spectrum means for broadcasters. In one of the first major pronouncements of his Chairmanship, new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler blogged that the incentive auction of broadcast spectrum will be delayed – from 2014 to mid-2015.  Most observers commended… Continue Reading

Wheeler: Incentive Auction in Mid-2015

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
In a blog entry posted today on the Commission’s website, new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has targeted “the middle of 2015” for conducting the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction.  Wheeler also indicated that an incentive auction Report and Order would circulate in early 2014, with a Commission vote “in the spring.”  In addition, the Incentive… Continue Reading

Senators ask for LPTV Protection in Repack

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
A bipartisan group of 23 U.S. Senators sent a letter to new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking the FCC to “take a careful approach” in repacking translators and low-power television stations in remote and rural areas following the incentive auction. The letter stresses that “[c]ountless farmers and ranchers, small businesses and families living in remote… Continue Reading

FCC Media Bureau Seeks Comment On Eligible Repacking Expenses

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Spectrum
On September 23, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Media Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on expenses eligible for reimbursement through the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.  Comments are due on October 31, 2013, and Reply Comments are due on November 14, 2013.  In a related Public Notice, the Commission released the… Continue Reading