Originally Posted by dkreichen1968
All the legal analysis I've seen shows that the FCC actually lost power with the new law. They are limited to one voluntary auction and involuntary repack within the next 10 years, after which the TV band will be effectively statutorily fixed. (Before the law passed they could have in theory repacked the band however and whenever they wanted to.)
That's not how I read it.
First, the law both authorizes and requires one and only one reverse and forward auction of TV spectrum by the end of fiscal 2022. Second, the law specifically provides for repacking as necessary to complete the forward auction, subject to certain restrictions, e.g. no U-to-V, Hi-to-Lo, etc. Finally, the law prohibits any other repacking from the time of enactment until either the auction authority expires or the auctions are completed, whichever comes first
This is the relevant text from the bill
SEC. 6403(g) LIMITATION ON REORGANIZATION AUTHORITY.
(1) IN GENERAL.During the period described in paragraph (2), the Commission may not
(A) involuntarily modify the spectrum usage rights of a broadcast television licensee or reassign such a licensee to another television channel except
(i) in accordance with this section; or
(ii) in the case of a violation by such licensee of the terms of its license or a specific provision of a statute administered by the Commission, or a regulation of the Commission promulgated under any such provision; or
(B) reassign a broadcast television licensee from a very high frequency television channel to an ultra high frequency television channel, unless
(i) such a reassignment will not decrease the total amount of ultra high frequency spectrum made available
for reallocation under this section; or
(ii) a request from such licensee for the reassignment was pending at the Commission on May 31, 2011.
(2) PERIOD DESCRIBED.The period described in this paragraph is the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on the earliest of
(A) the first date when the reverse auction under subsection (a)(1), the reassignments and reallocations (if any) under subsection (b)(1)(B), and the forward auction under subsection (c)(1) have been completed;
(B) the date of a determination by the Commission that the amount of the proceeds from the forward auction under subsection (c)(1) is not greater than the sum described in subsection (c)(2)(B); or
(C) September 30, 2022.
The highlighted proviso indicates a failed auction in which no reallocation takes place.
In other words, once the required auction process is completed, and whether that process succeeds or fails to reallocate spectrum,
FCC authority to repack reverts to whatever it was prior to the passage of the law.
If you know of some other provision which "effectively statutorily fixes" the TV band, please cite.