Incentive Auction Update

Posted on October 4th, 2013 by

Speaking of the incentive auction, while it continues to grapple with the basics of how to design the TV spectrum auction, the FCC has jumped ahead to consider the details of channel relocation and cost reimbursement during repacking after the spectrum auction.  On the cost reimbursement front, the FCC’s latest public notice publicizes a proposed rulemaking on a “Catalog of Eligible Expenses” that breaks down various channel relocation expenses into broad categories.   Without saying so, this notice strongly suggests the FCC plans to reimburse affected post-auction stations on an “estimated” basis instead of using a dollar-for-dollar approach. 

While the NPRM asks for comment on the categories of expenses it proposes, and potential additions/changes to those, it also seeks input on the pricing of those categories.  The NPRM also seeks comment on whether broadcasters affected by repacking should have to get competitive bids when buying equipment or services, methods for cost reduction such as bulk purchase requirements, and potentially limiting certain reimbursement costs (like HVAC) to the prices offered by vendors to federal agencies.

Comments in this proceeding can be filed electronically through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System, or by regular mail.  The deadline for comments is October 31, 2013, with reply comments due November 14, 2013.