FCC waits on Congressional authorization for broadcast spectrum auction

The FCC could auction off TV broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband use within the next year or two, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. Speaking at an event at the Consumer Electronics Show last week that highlighted the FCC's efforts to unleash more spectrum for wireless carriers, Genachowski said the FCC is waiting on Congress to authorize voluntary incentive auctions for the spectrum. The FCC wants to free 300 MHz of spectrum over the next five years, and the broadcast spectrum represents a significant chunk of that--potentially up to 120 MHz. However, so far broadcaster support for the plan has been relatively modest, and Gordon Smith, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters, told the Washington Post that his advice to broadcasters has been, "If you want to volunteer that's fine, but you better wait for the check to clear." Article