Jun 15, 2012

Broadcasters need spectrum repacking info, bidding flexibility, research paper says

A new paper argues that in upcoming spectrum auctions, broadcasters should be allowed to offer multiple bids, such as one for channel sharing and another to sell their spectrum entirely, and be able to place "combinatorial" bids contingent on multiple station bids being accepted, reports Multichannel News.

The paper, "Incentive Auctions: Economic and Strategic Issues," is co-authored by former FCC chief economist Thomas Hazlett, and David Porter and Vernon Smith of research firm Arlington Economics. Hazlett is on the panel at an event today (June 15), "Improving Spectrum Access Through Reverse Auctions," at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

The paper also notes that the FCC needs to release its model for repacking TV stations in time for broadcasters to determine if it is in their interest to give up spectrum.

"The whole purpose of the auction is to get the spectrum where it has the most value," Porter told Multichannel News. "That might mean staying with broadcasters or it might not. Everybody is saying that it will be wireless companies, but we don't know what the bids will be or the repacking costs. Until all those things are determined, who knows what the best hands are."

1 comment:

Ted at said...

"Who knows what the best hands are?"

A question asked during a gamble, and that's what the spectrum auctions and repacking game is... a gamble with a part of the public trust.

Over time, the US need for television spectrum will continue to grow, especially as rural area become larger in years to come, and spectrum is needed to provide first-service or additional television channels.

We don't need policy makers gambling with public resources.

For broadcasters—commercial or non-commercial—to be allowed to gamble or give away the public's alotted spectrum is akin to your local or regional government giving away an often-used public park or essential utility.