HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > FCC Releases Spectrum Auction Order

FCC Releases Spectrum Auction Order

The FCC this week issued the text of its Report & Order outlining the functioning of the upcoming television broadcast spectrum auction and subsequent repacking of remaining television stations.  The Commissioners approved this rulemaking last month by a partisan 3-2 vote.

Notably, the FCC decided that it will make “all reasonable efforts” to preserve a repacked TV station’s audience and coverage area, but specified that this was not a “hold harmless” provision.  “[I]n determining what is ‘reasonable,’” the report reads, “we agree with AT&T and other commenters that we should take into account the other objectives in the Spectrum Act, including the goal of repurposing spectrum — an objective which clearly militates in favor of an efficient repacking method.”

While NRB had pointed in its filed comments to the significance of the Spectrum Act’s “no-alter” clause for low power television, the FCC decided to decline repacking protection for LPTV and translators.   The order states:

We recognize that our decision will result in some viewers losing the services of these stations, may strand the investments displaced LPTV and TV translator licensees have made in their existing facilities, and may cause displaced licensees that choose to move to a new channel to incur the cost of doing so. On balance, however, we conclude that these concerns are outweighed by the detrimental impact that protecting LPTV and TV translator stations would have on the repacking process and on the success of the incentive auction.

Among those dissenting to this rulemaking was Commissioner Ajit Pai.  Commissioner Pai observed, “Broadcasters that do not participate in the incentive auction are not asking for special treatment. They… are simply asking to be held harmless rather than being made losers. This is a reasonable request, and we should have granted it. Indeed, I believe that this was Congress’s intent.” He added his concern that after the FCC’s rulemaking, “[T]here is a greater risk that some Americans will be left without any over-the-air television service after the incentive auction. This is wrong.”

NRB has and will continue to call on the FCC to purposefully protect programming choices for Americans, specifically the religious and family programming that NRB TV members provide free of charge to local communities.

  • Find the FCC spectrum auction order and related documents here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 6, 2014

Latest News

Senate Funders Take Aim at Agencies

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week advanced legislation with provisions to restrict several agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS.

Justice Alito Gives Insight into the Supreme Court

In a lengthy interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito provided insight into the high court’s procedures, commentary on recent cases, and some thoughts on baseball.

Pro-Life Ministries Need Not Apply?

Earlier this year the fight against human trafficking, rightly an effort that crosses partisan lines, was drawn into a battle over the federal funding of abortion in Congress.

2016 NRB Media Awards: Nomination Window Now Open!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 14, 2015. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of our most valued traditions.

NRB Members Respond to Planned Parenthood Exposé

Various NRB members joined in the massive outcry against Planned Parenthood after an undercover video was released last week showing a senior director from Planned Parenthood outlining the sale of fetal body parts.

Life Issues Institute Hosts Event in Memory of Late Pro-Life Pioneer Dr. Jack Willke

Life Issues Institute President Bradley Mattes hosted a memorial reception to honor the life of pro-life pioneer Dr. John C. (Jack) Willke on Tuesday, July 21, in Washington, DC.

J103 GM Steve Green Marks 35 Years in Radio

At the age of six, Steve Green says he had a transistor radio glued to his ear. While the music was “amazing,” Green recalls how it was the announcers that fascinated him. For hours, he would just to find out what they were going to do next!

TWR360 Christian Web Portal Adds 40th Language as Expansion Continues

When TWR360 was launched in May 2013, the web portal to Christian media content was available in only five languages.

FCC Moves to Adjust Field Operations

This week at the FCC’s monthly public meeting, the Commissioners voted unanimously for a plan to change its field operations structure, most notably by closing 11 field offices.

Judiciary and Commerce Committee Leaders Investigating Planned Parenthood

After the release of an undercover video this week in which a Planned Parenthood leader reveals horrific details about the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, Congress is ratcheting up the pressure.

More News