GOP plan may doom spectrum auctions, Blair Levin contends

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A spectrum auction to free up bandwidth space for mobile devices will probably fail if Congress adopts a Republican House plan, said Blair Levin, former executive director of the Federal Communications Commission’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative that proposed the auction, reports the TVNewsCheck website. The proposed legislation would give the FCC authority to conduct incentive auctions and share proceeds with the Treasury and broadcasters who voluntarily give up spectrum, but it also contains provisions designed to protect broadcasters who keep spectrum. “The legislation ties the FCC’s hands in a variety of ways,” said Levin, who is now with the Aspen Institute. “It opens it up to litigation risk, which then, in conjunction with the other handcuffs, makes it difficult to pull off a successful auction. The nature of the bill dramatically increases the probability that there will be less spectrum recovered and less money for the Treasury.”

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