COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
Incentive Auction Task Force Presentation
(June 27, 2013)
As the presentation makes clear today, we are at the early stages of the complex but
critical task of conducting wireless incentive auctions. The road ahead is arduous, the choices
hard and important. But the task is also historic. We have an opportunity to lead the world in
demonstrating novel ways to reclaim spectrum and repurpose old airwaves for new mobile
broadband use. That is epic and exciting.
In taking on things this monumental, it is always better to have a full complement of
Commissioners. But I believe we have a mandate from Congress and cannot delay. We need to
make progress. We need to move forward.
Forward momentum requires efforts that both engage stakeholders externally and use our
resources internally. In all of our efforts, we need to keep in mind the power of simplicity in the
rules we develop, the need for fairness in our treatment of stakeholders, the balance required in
our decision-making, and the essential task of funding public safety.
Now from the lofty to the local, I think it is important to focus on several near-term
activities to keep our efforts on course.
First, forward progress requires transparency. I continue to believe the Commission
should hold a series of public hearings on the incentive auctions. We can use these sessions to
explore major aspects of the auction--the reverse auction, the repacking, the forward auction,
and the transition process. We could ask the hard questions. What's the right balance of
licensed and unlicensed spectrum under the law? How do the forward and reverse auctions fit
together? How will we determine initial bids? Commissioners could attend, engage directly
with experts, and provide stakeholders with an opportunity to connect directly with decision
Second, forward progress requires that our outreach to broadcasters is not just broad--but
also targeted. To this end, I think the Task Force should directly reach out to every broadcaster
in the top 30 markets in this country. This is where our mobile broadband needs are greatest.
Third, forward progress requires that we make progress on the bandplan. All good
deliberations must come to an end. We should strive to have a 600 MHz bandplan in place by
the end of the third quarter this year.
Fourth, forward progress means we should assess what aspects of the auctions are not
really in dispute. So I ask the Task Force to consider if we should collect these issues, tee up an
Order, and take them off the table.
In closing, thank you to the Task Force and the countless folks who work with you and
are striving to make these auctions a success. Thank you also to the Chairwoman, for
encouraging the auction team to update us at our meeting today.