Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission plans to send a document to every eligible television station in the United States, laying out the benefits of participating in next year’s spectrum auction, the Wall Street Journal reported.
FCC has hired investment bank Greenhill & Co to prepare the pitch, which will include estimates of how much TV stations would get by selling their spectrum in each market, the newspaper said. (on.wsj.com/1DYbzf9)
Reuters reported last month that the top U.S. communications regulator was reaching out to television stations, explaining how the auction will work and how much money it could raise.
The incentive auction for mid-2015 is the first opportunity for wireless carriers to buy coveted low-frequency spectrum, which hinges on television stations first giving up those airwaves.
Many TV station owners have been reluctant to agree to go off air or share airwaves with each other, which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said was partly because they were not sure they would get properly paid.
“What we’ve been saying is, you know what, there might just be a higher and better use for that spectrum that will put more money in your pocket,” Wheeler is quoted as saying in a phone interview with the Wall Street Journal.
An FCC official told WSJ that the document makes it clear that the auction is voluntary and the stations are free to back out at any time.
The FCC and Greenhill could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours. (Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bangalore, editing by Louise Heavens)