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Statement of Chairman Genachowski On Incentive Auction Proposal

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Released: September 7, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



September 7, 2012
Neil Grace, 202-418-0506



“Just two years after the concept of incentive auctions was first proposed in the FCC’s National
Broadband Plan, and as a result of authority granted through legislation signed into law in February, the
Commission is poised to take an important step toward pioneering the world’s first incentive auctions and
freeing up significant spectrum for mobile broadband.
“Today, I am pleased to share a detailed proposal for incentive auctions with my colleagues, and I am
scheduling a vote for the next Commission meeting on September 28.
“As smartphones and tablets proliferate, the opportunities to benefit consumers and businesses become
clearer every day. In freeing up licensed and unlicensed spectrum for wireless broadband, incentive
auctions will drive faster speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile coverage. The mobile
experience for millions of consumers and small business owners will improve as a result of successful
incentive auctions. These are essential ingredients for innovation and leadership in the 21st century
economy where smartphones and tablets powered by 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks are proliferating, and
the mobile Internet becomes more important every day. Over the last few years, the U.S. has regained
global leadership in mobile innovation – and we must not let up now.
“To ensure ongoing innovation in mobile broadband, we must pursue several strategies vigorously:
freeing up more spectrum for both licensed use and for unlicensed services like Wi-Fi; driving faster
speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile Internet coverage; and taking additional steps to ensure
that our invisible infrastructure for mobile innovation can meet the needs of the 21st century.
“If adopted, the incentive auction proposal before the Commission will accelerate these strategies.
Incentive auctions will help create jobs and strengthen U.S. competitiveness in a world where,
increasingly, mobile leadership is required for leadership in the global innovation economy.
“The proposal would also free up a significant amount of unlicensed spectrum for innovative WiFi-like
uses, and create the first uniform, national low-band unlicensed spectrum in any country.
“Even as the Commission draws on the expertise of the world’s leading economists, auction design
experts, and engineers, our ability to maximize the opportunities of spectrum will depend on the active
engagement of the public and all stakeholders. I urge broad participation by all. As I’ve stated before,
we fully expect this process to strengthen both our mobile and broadcast industries, creating new
opportunities and new benefits. In particular, many broadcasters will have a new and unique financial
opportunity as a result of incentive auctions. The Commission is committed to making every effort to be
a resource to the broadcaster community, which is why we are launching a new ‘Broadcaster LEARN
Program,’ designed to empower decision-makers. Through this program, a host of new resources will be

available as broadcasters and others participate in the comment process and consider this business
“I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Commission to maximize the economic and
innovation opportunities of spectrum through these incentive auctions.”

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