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Court Says FCC's Incentive Auction Can Proceed

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Jun 12, 2015, 1:34 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

A federal appeals court today denied broadcasters' bid to derail the FCC's forthcoming reverse auction. The incentive auction, set to take place in mid 2016, will see wireless companies bid for spectrum owned by television broadcasters. The FCC has conceived the framework of the auction's rules and the court upheld that framework today. "We are gratified that the Court agrees with the Commission's balanced, market-based approach to freeing up more valuable spectrum for innovative wireless broadband services," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "This decision provides the Commission and all stakeholders with the certainty necessary to proceed apace toward a successful auction in the first quarter of next year." The CTIA Wireless Association was quick to voice its approval, as well. "We are thankful that the court addressed these issues quickly and look forward to a successful and timely incentive auction that delivers access to more spectrum as soon as possible to be able to meet ever increasing mobile broadband demand," said CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker. The FCC still needs to decide how much spectrum to set aside for smaller carriers and make other decisions about the auction, but the major building blocks are now in place.

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