FCC's TV-for-Mobile Auction Is Starting: What You Need to Know
March 30, 2016
The big spectrum sale is underway
Say good-bye to some local TV channels, and hello to more space on clogged-up cell phone networks. This is what’s supposed to happen if an ambitious auction by the FCC goes according to plan.
The auction, which kicked off Tuesday, could yield tens of billions of dollars for TV broadcasters as companies like AT&T T-0.43% and Comcast CMCSA0.74% bid to get their hands on the “beachfront realty” of airwaves. The outcome could shape the strategies of internet and telecom companies for years to come.
Here’s an overview of what’s happening, who’s involved, and how it could affect big companies—and you.
Why Are TV Stations Going Away?
In an age of cable and internet TV, many stations still send their signals the old-school way—broadcasting them across the airwaves to consumers with antennas. The trouble, today, is that few people watch TV this way, and so it makes sense to find a different use for those airwaves.