FCC moves ahead with plans to auction off broadcast spectrum in 2015

FCC moves ahead with plans to auction off broadcast spectrum in 2015 According to reports, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proceedings with its plans to hold a much-anticipated and much-talked-about broadcast spectrum auction in 2015.  The auction will require broadcasters to voluntarily offer up their unused spectrum.

With broadcast spectrum to be auctioned off to bandwidth-gobbling wireless carriers, the FCC has revealed that up to 30 MHz of spectrum in urban markets will likely be reserved for smaller carriers.

Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a report and order (R&O) to the FCC commissioners, outlining how he would like the broadcast spectrum auction to proceed; and also laying down some ground rules on specific points.

The R&O released by Wheeler essentially mentions auction-related ground rules on four points --- re-organization of the 600MHz band to make it ready for auction; detailing the actual auction process; the post-auction transition; and regulatory issues which are likely to crop up at the close of the auction.

With regard to the broadcast spectrum auction, Wheeler said that since there is a finite amount of spectrum, carriers will require additional spectrum in coming years to ensure the smooth running of devices.  Wheeler said: "Twenty-first century consumers in both rural and urban areas of our country have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wireless services, and thus, for spectrum."