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FCC Releases New Incentive Auction Repacking Information

by: Julius Knapp, Chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology

July 22, 2013 - 05:23 PM

Today, the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force released a Public Notice that seeks input on certain data and updated computer software relevant to the repacking component of the upcoming incentive auction. 

Repacking is one of three major components of the FCC’s incentive auction, along with the reverse and forward auctions.  It refers to the process of reassigning broadcast TV channels to free up contiguous blocks of spectrum for mobile broadband use.

The notice and accompanying materials released today includes the results of a preliminary analysis of whether any particular television station could be assigned or reassigned to particular channels in the incentive auction repacking process, consistent with statutory and other requirements.  This information and analysis will permit broadcasters to validate the accuracy of the information regarding their stations or facilities contained in the FCC’s databases, to ensure that the staff has correctly identified all relevant constraints on repacking.  It also provides an opportunity for broadcasters to evaluate the range of channels to which they could be repacked consistent with the requirements of the Spectrum Act and the Commission’s rules if they are not a “winning bidder” in the incentive auction.

 This release was driven by the Commission’s continuing focus on transparency and desire to receive input from all interested parties.  Over the coming weeks and months, the public will have the opportunity to use this information, along with additional elements of the repacking process that we intend to make available, to better understand and to provide feedback on the work that our engineering and auction design experts have been doing.  Those additional elements include how we will select bids, how we will assign channels, and algorithms for carrying out these and other elements of the repacking process.

 It is important to note that in these analyses, we make certain assumptions based on information in the recordso that the released data has meaningful value to the public.  Those assumptions do not imply any final Commission determination regarding the information provided today,

We recognize that repacking is complicated, and that it will take time for people to review and understand the materials we are releasing today.  In order to make the information as accessible as possible, we are also providing a detailed updated Installation and Instruction Manual and an Upgrade Guide for the TVStudy computer software used to support the repacking analysis. 

We encourage all interested parties to review the information released today, and to provide us with concrete ideas about how to best develop the repacking methodology.  The feedback we receive will be important as the Commission continues to work towards conducting the world’s first incentive auction. 

We look forward to a continued productive dialogue.

For more information about the FCC’s Incentive Auction, visit

Updated: July 24, 2013 - 09:13 AM
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