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B&C Exclusive: Trump Team Embraces FCC Remake Blueprint

The incoming Donald Trump Administration is said to have signed off on an approach to remaking the Federal Communications Commission offered by the FCC transition team majority, one that squares with the deregulatory philosophies of FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, who will be two of the three Republican votes on the commission, and one of them possibly the chair.

That approach would be to restructure FCC bureaus to better reflect the convergence of the digital age as a first step, and, eventually, move functions deemed "duplicative," like, say, competition and consumer protection, to other agencies, particularly the Federal Trade Commission.

While some have described the plan as one to eliminate the FCC, and certainly many if not most of its functions could be reapportioned, landing team members Jeff Eisenach and Rosyln Layton have argued that what remains would be "a more coherent and streamlined " agency that "would more effectively serve the goals of consumers, competitors, and Congress."

Read More at the Broadcasting and Cable site.

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Reverse Auction Stage 4 Closes with $10 Billion

Stage 4 of the Federal Communications Commission's Spectrum Auction ended on Friday, Jan. 13, with a new payout price of $10,054,676,822 needed to clear 84 MHz of TV spectrum space to resell to wireless operators. The fifth stage is set to being on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The new $10 billion price is significantly lower than the original price of $86 billion that was asked for Stage 1. It has reduced every stage since, and yet it is still unclear whether or not bidders will reach this total.

Is this good news, or is it disappointing? Marci Ryvicker and the Wells Fargo Securities team believe it is good news.

"We view this as really good news," they said. "The auction is going to end a lot sooner than we thought, which would allow for the broadcast and wireless companies (namely Dish in our coverage) to pursue M&A."

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ATBA to Host Television Spectrum Update Reception at NRB

On the opening day of the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, Proclaim 17, on Monday, February 27, the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA) will host an evening reception for the television broadcast industry. The event will be held at the convention hotel, the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida at 9:15pm in the Miami Room. For sponsorship information, contact Lee Miller at 936-674-5912 or by email at info@broadcastingalliance.org.

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TV Station Owner Says Pause Spectrum Auction

The FCC's soon to be Republican majority has been asked to hit the pause button on the broadcast incentive auction and reevaluate its "anemic participation" by wireless providers.

That came in a letter to commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly from TV station owner Max Media chairman Gene Loving.

He says that given President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to reevaluate government programs, they should do the same with the auction. [READ MORE]

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Broadcasters Seek $10 Billion for 84 MHZ

WASHINGTON— Broadcasters asked $10 billion for 84 MHz in the fourth stage of the TV spectrum incentive reverse auction, which concluded as scheduled on Friday, Jan. 13.

The 84 MHz clearing target will yield 70 MHz of spectrum for wireless bidders in the fourth-stage forward auction, with the remaining 14 MHz dedicated to interference buffer zones, or “guard bands.”

The fourth-stage forward auction is tentatively scheduled to begin Wednesday, Jan. 18. [READ MORE]

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