In a blog post on Friday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he would postpone a January 2014 spectrum auction to mid-2015. In his post, Wheeler called for more extensive testing of “the operating systems and the software necessary to conduct the world’s first-of-a kind incentive auction.”
”Only when our software and systems are technically ready, user friendly, and thoroughly tested, will we start the auction,” wrote Wheeler. The chairman also said that he wanted to develop procedures for how the auction will be conducted, specifically after seeking public comment on those details in the second half of next year.
In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which required the FCC to auction off 65 MHz of spectrum by 2015. Revenue from the auction will go toward developing FirstNet, an LTE network for first responders. Two months ago, acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn announced that the commission would start that sell-off by placing 10MHz on the auction block in January 2014. The other 25 MHz would be auctioned off at a later date, before the end of 2015.
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