Wheeler: FCC Accelerating Post-Auction Repack Planning

The National Association of Broadcasters said Monday the FCC should start planning for the post-incentive auction repack ASAP and FCC chairman Tom Wheeler appears already to be on the same page.

In prepared testimony for Tuesday's House Communications Subcommittee FCC oversight hearing, Wheeler said the FCC has already "begun to pivot and to accelerate our planning for the post-auction transition."

He says the FCC has been focused on post-auction planning for over a year, including releasing the draft reimbursement form for relocation costs and a reimbursement cost catalog of covered expenses.

Congress allocated $1.75 billion for that relocation, but Wheeler told a House Appropriations committee audience last week that if that is not enough money to cover it, he would lead the parade back to the Hill to ask for more.

Wheeler gave House Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) props for his efforts in the incentive auction—he was among the lead figures in drafting and passing the legislation creating the auction.

Pointing to the launch of the auction March 29, he said: "Certainly we would not be where we are today without Chairman Walden’s steadfast support and leadership on this issue."

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.