Auctions Are Complicated

As the FCC prepares for its spectrum incentive auctions next year, there’s a mind-boggling amount of details to be sorted out. Case in point: The FCC’s TVStudy software, which will gauge areas covered by broadcasters and pinpoint possible areas of interference once spectrum one more spectrum is allocated for wireless. As John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports, while the proposed software is being criticized by some broadcasters, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently took a strong stand in its defense:

Broadcasters have argued the software and data used should be that in existence when the incentive auction law was passed, and that to do otherwise does not square with that law, and in any case is fundamentally flawed.

But in his comments on Friday’s presentation on the status of the incentive auctions, Pai said: ”[B]roadcasters should support updating our software so that it can work on modern computer systems, run more quickly, and perform the type of analysis that will be necessary to support the incentive auction. Likewise, they should be open to including the most recent census data in that software.”

Obviously, this is all very complicated. Which is all the more reason for the FCC to ensure it gets its auction guidelines right.