Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This article examines the potential impact of smaller-sized license territories in the context of the FCC's upcoming 2016 Broadcast Incentive Auction-the largest, most complex auction to date. The purpose of the auction is to free up to 120 MHz of prime spectrum in the 600 MHz band, currently licensed to over-the-air television broadcasting, to repurpose for licensing mobile broadband and other higher value wireless services. This article argues that using smaller territories is more consistent with the longterm direction of efficient spectrum management reform and future wireless market. The article also explains how adopting small geographic territories is necessary to promote competition and other important economic and social goals, while acknowledging that right-sizing the license territories may not, by itself, be sufficient to ensure adequate competition and participation by smaller carriers and entrants. The analysis and findings in this article are generally applicable to other spectrum auctions in the United States and abroad.