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CBO: Incentive Auction Could Net $10 Billion to $40 Billion, TR Daily

The Congressional Budget Office estimated today that the FCC’s incentive auction may net between $10 billion and $40 billion, “with an expected value of $25 billion,” with most of that going to the U.S. Treasury. The amount appears to be what CBO generally expects the Treasury to get after broadcasters are compensated, according to budget experts.

The figures were included in a letter from CBO Director Keith Hill to Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee who posed questions to CBO about FCC auction revenues.

CBO noted that the AWS (advanced wireless services)-3 auction generated “net receipts” of $41.3 billion. The spectrum sold in that auction was in higher bands with less favorable propagation characteristics.  But some carriers and others have noted that the incentive auction is more complicated, and some say the FCC’s plan to set aside spectrum for providers with fewer frequencies below 1 gigahertz could depress bidding. Some also say that revenue totals from the AWS-3 sale were inflated due to bidding arrangements that Dish Network Corp. had with two small companies.

Some parties project that the incentive auction will see higher revenues than the AWS-3 sale. For example, Preston Padden, executive director of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, noted today that SNL Kagan expects auction revenues of $60-$80 billion, while auction expert Peter Cramton has estimated revenues of at least $84 billion.

“Nothing in the CBO letter is a surprise to those of us who follow budgets and scorekeeping. CBO has been consistent in both its scoring practices and its forecast for net incentive auction receipts since the Middle Class Tax Relief Act was adopted in February 2012,” said David Taylor of Capitol Solutions, a government relations firm.

The National Association of Broadcasters had no comment on CBO’s estimate, nor did the FCC.

The record AWS-3 auction revenues have prompted some broadcasters to take a closer look at participating in the incentive auction, according to industry officials.

– Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

TR Daily: AWS-3 Auction Closes With Record $44.9B in Bids

The FCC’s AWS-3 auction closed Thursday, January 29th, after 341 rounds and 45 days, garnering a record $44.9 billion in gross bids. In comparison, all FCC auctions before the AWS-3 sale generated just more than $53 billion in net proceeds to the U.S. Treasury.

David Taylor, executive director of the Wireless Broadband Coalition, weighed in on the conclusion of the historic auction. “The record-setting AWS-3 auction results demonstrate that the wireless industry values cleared, paired, internationally-harmonized spectrum allocations. The results also suggest that the federal relocation process reforms contained in the 2012 Spectrum Act aimed at reducing risks for both relocating federal agencies and prospective auction bidders worked better than most analysts anticipated.”

TR Daily: OMB Approves $69.9 Million for Agencies Before AWS-3 Auction

Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan has notified Congress that OMB has approved the transfer of $69.865 million from the Spectrum Relocation Fund to the Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and Interior departments to help them plan for relocation and sharing arrangements ahead of the AWS (advanced wireless services)-3 auction, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 13.  OMB can transfer funds 30 days after the Sept. 8 notification to Congress.

“We are pleased that OMB Director Donovan has approved funding to allow the affected agencies to continue planning for Auction 97,” said David Taylor, executive director of the Wireless Broadband Coalition. “Doing so avoids potential delays in the relocation process and sets the stage for a successful auction – one that promises to fully fund federal agency relocation costs while protecting critical national security communications capabilities.”

Mr. Taylor also commended the efforts of federal agencies to reduce the expected relocation and transition costs as well as the required exclusion or coordination zones.

“Progress over the past 18 months has been incredible,” he said. “Federal system relocation cost estimates have dropped from over $18 billion to $4.6 billion. Geographic exclusion zones are significantly smaller and relocation timetables for several systems have been compressed. All of these changes enhance the value of this internationally-harmonized spectrum for potential bidders.” – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Politico: WBC & CTIA International Harmonization Report Released

This morning, the WBC and CTIA issued a press release announcing their global status report and map on the allocation of the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz spectrum.  The report shows 17 of the G-20 countries, all but Argentina, Canada and the United States, have at a minimum allocated both bands for commercial use.

The report was featured in this morning’s Politico Morning Tech. ”CTIA, along with the Wireless Broadband Coalition, wants those bands paired and reallocated for commercial use, and are looking to leverage international data to get the U.S. government on board. ‘Internationally harmonized spectrum is appealing to carriers because it reduces network development and deployment costs,’ WBC Executive Director David Taylor said in a statement. ‘Having more equipment readily available also reduces network deployment schedules. Our research clearly shows that these bands are internationally harmonized.’”

Read our press release for more information.

WBC and David Taylor in TR Daily

The Wireless Broadband Coalition criticized a National Telecommunications and Information Administration report this week that affirmed the agency’s recommendation that the 1695-1710 megahertz band should be freed up for commercial wireless services on a shared basis with government users.  “This report continues a disappointing trend.  The FCC’s National Broadband Plan was released in March 2010.  Since then, the Administration has yet to recommend that a single MHz of federal spectrum below 3 GHz should be cleared for commercial use,” said David Taylor, the coalition’s executive director.

David Taylor on OMB Spectrum Relocation Guidance in TR Daily

This morning TR Daily quoted David Taylor on the recent OMB “Guidance for Agencies on Transfers from the Spectrum Relocation Fund for Certain Pre-Auction Costs”. Mr. Taylor stated “The OMB guidance to federal agencies implements one of the WBC’s legislative priorities. The WBC supports providing NTIA and other affected agencies resources for spectrum planning and management activities to 1) improve federal spectrum efficiency, 2) protect critical federal communications capabilities and 3) identify, evaluate, reallocate and clear licensed spectrum for commercial use.”

David Taylor Speaks on TechAmerica Panel Addressing Sequestration

On Monday, October 22nd, 2012, David Taylor spoke on a panel at TechAmerica entitled “The Potential Impact of Sequestration on Non-Defense Federal Agencies” along with other experts. The presentation focused on the context of the current budget situation and the possible effects of sequestration on non-defense agencies.

Information about the event, including David Taylor’s presentation, can be found at: http://www.techamerica.org/Events/eventDetail.cfm?eventid=a0E4000000m4DsrEAE

Wireless Broadband Coalition Calls for More Cleared, Paired, Internationally-Harmonized Spectrum Below 3GHz

The Wireless Broadband Coalition (WBC) and 6 other associations representing companies in the technology and telecommunications sectors wrote to the bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to press for more licensed spectrum allocations.

“More cleared, paired, internationally-harmonized spectrum allocations below 3 GHz are needed and needed soon. America’s economy and its global leadership in mobile broadband depend on it.”

Click here to see the text of the letter.

New Coalition Promotes Data Center Consolidation and the Federal Government’s Planned Transition to the Cloud

 “Federal policy-makers are under mounting pressure to cut costs.  The Administration has identified two major initiatives—data center consolidation and cloud-computing—that promise to improve government services and save taxpayers billions of dollars,” said DC4 Coalition Executive Director David Taylor.

“While these initiatives enjoy broad support within the tech community, Congress cut requested funding in FY 2012.  Part of their justification for doing so has been concern that implementation of these initiatives may fall short of the Administration’s performance and budgetary objectives.  The DC4 Coalition will work with the Administration and Congress to address those concerns and improve the prospects that agency data center consolidation and cloud transition activities move forward.”

Click here for Official Press Release

 

Taylor Talks Odds of Inclusion of Spectrum Auctions in the Conference Committee’s Tax Deal

TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTS: SPECTRUM OUTLOOK BRIGHTENS WITH TAX EXTENSION DEAL

December 23, 2011, Ted Gotsch, ted.gotsch@wolterskluwer.com

“Procedurally, the deal effectively limits the scope of the conference and increases the odds that spectrum legislation based largely on the JOBS Act will be incorporated into any conference agreement that emerges,” said David Taylor, executive director of the Wireless Broadband Coalition.

Read Full Article Here