An amendment that would have given broadcasters more time and money to make the post-incentive auction repack did not make it onto the MOBILE Now Act, which was marked up and approved by the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday.
The amendment, which was unveiled by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) earlier this week, would have boosted the relocation fund by a billion dollars from $1.75 billion to $2.75 billion and given broadcasters six years rather than three years to make the transition.
Moran offered and immediately withdrew the amendment during the markup, saying he would be the first to admit the legislation was not needed now but wanted to highlight his concerns about whether there would be enough time and money for the transition.
Moran is concerned that the repack of urban stations—whose spectrum the FCC is angling for—would get priority in the repack over rural stations in his state and said as he withdrew the amendment that he wanted to make sure the committee paid specific and direct attention to the issue.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
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.