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FCC Schedules Meeting Votes on More Auction Items

The FCC will try to wrap up some more loose ends in the spectrum auction in its Oct. 22 public meeting, including a vote on allowing post-auction sharing and vetting OET-69 interference/coverage software.

On the agenda are an item to define when a wireless licensee will be deemed to have "commenced operations"—built out, for example, or testing or operating—for purposes of determining when "secondary users"—low powers and translators and unlicensed users—have to cease operations or vacate their channels.

Also teed up is an item seeking comment on the OET-69 software the FCC is using to calculate TV station interference and coverage areas in the station repack following the auction. It will also establish the interference protection criteria for TV stations and wireless operators sharing the 600 MHz band—the FCC has proposed repacking a handful of stations in the wireless band.

The FCC also plans to vote a proposal to allow TV stations to strike channel-sharing agreements after the auction as well as before. It will also give successful auction bidders more time to transition to their shared facilities after the auction.

Broadcasters have the option of giving up spectrum and getting out of the business, or giving it up and sharing with another TV station in the market, retaining their must-carry rights on cable systems.

Also on the docket is a proposal to streamline the process for reviewing requests for foreign ownership of broadcast stations.

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.