CTIA Asks FCC to Reject Most Auction Challenges

Wireless carriers are telling the FCC to reject most of the broadcasters' challenges to its incentive auction, including to TVStudy software and the status of LPTV's.

In a replay to petitions to reconsider various part of its May incentive auction order due Wednesday — there were 31 challenges of one sort or another — CTIA: The Wireless Association said the FCC should reaffirm that it is under no obligation to reserve channels for wireless microphones. Broadcast journalists had sought that change, and that low power TV stations have "few to no rights in the incentive auction process."

CTIA said the FCC should reject broadcasters pitch for switching to a national broadband plan — it would reduce the potential amount of broadcast spectrum available for auction — or requests that would delay the licensing of the band for wireless.

It did say it supported the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition request that the FCC make it easier to channel share.

CTIA said the FCC should stick with its plan to use the TVStudy software to determine broadcasters coverage areas and population served. The National Association of Broadcasters has challenged the TVStudy methodology and outputs in court.

"By any measure, the Report and Order is a tremendous achievement by the Commission, said CTIA in its filing. "By taking the steps proposed herein, the Commission will ensure that it continues its path toward a successful incentive auction."

The auction's target date has been pushed back from mid-2015 to early 2016, the FCC says thanks in part to broadcaster court challenges, which likely will not be resolved until first quarter 2015 at the earliest.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.