47 U.S. Code § 1452 - Special requirements for incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum
The Commission shall conduct a reverse auction to determine the amount of compensation that each broadcast television licensee would accept in return for voluntarily relinquishing some or all of its broadcast television spectrum usage rights in order to make spectrum available for assignment through a system of competitive bidding under subparagraph (G) of section 309(j)(8) of this title.
The Commission shall take all reasonable steps necessary to protect the confidentiality of Commission-held data of a licensee participating in the reverse auction under paragraph (1), including withholding the identity of such licensee until the reassignments and reallocations (if any) under subsection (b)(1)(B) become effective, as described in subsection (f)(2).
A broadcast television station that voluntarily relinquishes spectrum usage rights under this subsection in order to share a television channel and that possessed carriage rights under section 338, 534, or 535 of this title on November 30, 2010, shall have, at its shared location, the carriage rights under such section that would apply to such station at such location if it were not sharing a channel.
In making any reassignments or reallocations under paragraph (1)(B), the Commission shall make all reasonable efforts to preserve, as of February 22, 2012, the coverage area and population served of each broadcast television licensee, as determined using the methodology described in OET Bulletin 69 of the Office of Engineering and Technology of the Commission.
In lieu of reimbursement for relocation costs under subparagraph (A), a broadcast television licensee may accept, and the Commission may grant as it considers appropriate, a waiver of the service rules of the Commission to permit the licensee, subject to interference protections, to make flexible use of the spectrum assigned to the licensee to provide services other than broadcast television services. Such waiver shall only remain in effect while the licensee provides at least 1 broadcast television program stream on such spectrum at no charge to the public.
The Commission may not make reimbursements under subparagraph (A) for lost revenues.
If the amount of the proceeds from the forward auction under paragraph (1) is not greater than the sum described in subparagraph (B), no licenses shall be assigned through such forward auction, no reassignments or reallocations under subsection (b)(1)(B) shall become effective, and the Commission may not revoke any spectrum usage rights by reason of a bid that the Commission accepts in the reverse auction under subsection (a)(1).
The amount of the proceeds from the forward auction under paragraph (1) that the salaries and expenses account of the Commission is required to retain under section 309(j)(8)(B) of this title shall be sufficient to cover the costs incurred by the Commission in conducting the reverse auction under subsection (a)(1), conducting the evaluation of the broadcast television spectrum under subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1), and making any reassignments or reallocations under subparagraph (B) of such subsection, in addition to the costs incurred by the Commission in conducting such forward auction.
In conducting the forward auction under paragraph (1), the Commission shall consider assigning licenses that cover geographic areas of a variety of different sizes.
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.
Any amounts borrowed under paragraph (3)(A) and any amounts in the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund that are not necessary for reimbursement of the general fund of the Treasury for such borrowed amounts shall be available to the Commission to make the payments required by subsection (b)(4)(A).
Beginning on the date when any reassignments or reallocations under subsection (b)(1)(B) become effective, as provided in subsection (f)(2), and ending when $1,000,000,000 has been deposited in the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund, the Commission may borrow from the Treasury of the United States an amount not to exceed $1,000,000,000 to use toward the payments required by subsection (b)(4)(A).
The Commission shall reimburse the general fund of the Treasury, without interest, for any amounts borrowed under subparagraph (A) as funds are deposited into the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), no reassignments or reallocations under subsection (b)(1)(B) shall become effective until the completion of the reverse auction under subsection (a)(1) and the forward auction under subsection (c)(1), and, to the extent practicable, all such reassignments and reallocations shall become effective simultaneously.
Section 309(j)(15)(A) of this title shall not apply in the case of an auction conducted under this section.
The right of a licensee to protest a proposed order of modification of its license under section 316 of this title shall not apply in the case of a modification made under this section.
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