FCC Delays Incentive Auction Vote

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has postponed the scheduled vote by the agency on the 600MHz Incentive Auction on Thursday because of concerns raised by the US Congress.

Wheeler abandoned votes on the auction rules and the amount of spectrum to be reserved for smaller carriers that would have been taken at the July 16 meeting. These discussions are now currently scheduled for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's next meeting on August 6. (See Wheeler Pitches Net Neutrality, Incentive Auction.)

House Republicans wrote to Wheeler with concerns about spectrum repacking in the auction, which will see some TV broadcasters vacate 600MHz spectrum so that it can be used for mobile services. Representative Fred Upton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden wrote to the FCC chairman voicing concerns.

"In the spirit of cooperation that has marked our work together on the incentive auctions, I am today postponing Commission consideration of this order and the related reconsideration of the mobile spectrum holdings order until the Commission's next regularly scheduled meeting on August 6," Wheeler wrote to the representatives in a letter obtained by The Hill.

The further delay could give T-Mobile US Inc. a little more time to lobby the FCC to preserve as much of the Incentive Auction spectrum for smaller carriers as possible. (See T-Mobile Boss Asks Consumers to Pressure FCC on Low-Band.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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