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

60,000 Shoebox Gifts Airlifted to Children Displaced by ISIS Militants in Northern Iraq

Samaritan’s Purse recently airlifted 60,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to Northern Iraq, where displaced Iraqi kids have been stripped of their homes and most possessions.

Aaron Shust Partners with Radio Outlets for Holiday Promotions That Help People in Need

Dove-Award winning Aaron Shust is teaming with radio outlets across the country to help make Christmas a little more merry to those in need.

Christian Radio to Give Free College Tuition to Full Time Staff

Positive Alternative Radio (PAR) is providing its employees innovative new benefits that include access to higher education, time off for community service, and financial counseling.

CTVN Announces New Roku Channel

Cornerstone Network (CTVN) is now available on Roku TV and able to stream programming to viewers live and on demand.

Christmas Reflections in Washington

While end-of-year debates on government appropriations, military policy, tax provisions, judicial nominations, and other issues continue their rough road to resolution in this lame-duck session of Congress, Christmas is in the air in the nation’s capital.

FCC Rules Against Church on Closed Captioning

The FCC recently denied a church’s request for a waiver from closed captioning rules, shedding more light on the agency’s approach to determining what may truly be an “economically burdensome” situation.

Senator Promises a Bill Broader than ENDA

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced this week that he intends to introduce legislation next year that will roll the controversial Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into a broader...

White Paper Issued on Video Policy

Key leaders in the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week released a white paper on video policy as they continue their path toward a review and revamp the Communications Act.

NRB15 Worship Service on Wednesday, February 25, 2015; Open to the Public

The NRB Convention in 2015 will be a Monday-to-Thursday event rather than a Saturday-to-Tuesday event as in years before, but convention participants will still have an opportunity to worship together during the Wednesday evening worship service on February 25, 2015.

NRB to Host Regional Networking Event for Christian Film Pros, Jan. 10

Christian film professionals in the Baltimore, DC, and Richmond region are invited to attend a networking event next month at the NRB headquarters in Manassas, VA.

More News