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NAB files lawsuit against FCC over airwave auction

MUMBAI: The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a petition for review with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, challenging aspects of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed broadcast spectrum incentive auction.

Set to take place next year, the auction will allow TV channels to take bids and sell their airwaves to meet the rising demand for mobile broadband.

NAB states that the FCC’s plans to auction off airwaves will incur expense and harm coverage of TV channels. The new lawsuit challenges the regulations stating that it does not fully protect broadcasters that do not participate in the auction.

Broadcasters say that they should not be forced into having their coverage area reduced, or to pay from their pocket for moving their broadcast signal to a new frequency.

According to the NAB lawsuit, the FCC is overstepping its mandate. FCC’s rules change the method for measuring footprint size, which broadcasters argue would shrink their audience after the auction.

It stated in a blog post, “Local broadcasters should not be forced to go out of pocket to help multi-national wireless giants. NAB’s lawsuit is not designed to derail the auction, or even slow it down. We are looking for a mid-course correction that better reflects Congress’ intent, and that protects broadcasters and the millions of vulnerable over-the-air TV viewers.”