While it likely won’t quench the wireless carriers’ thirst for more spectrum anytime soon, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday took an important step toward opening up more airwaves for mobile data use by voting 5-0 to approve a new spectrum auction process that will reward television broadcasters for voluntarily relinquishing unused spectrum. The New York Times reports that “a portion of the proceeds” from the auctions will go to broadcasters that relinquish their spectrum licenses and notes that the government estimates the incentive auctions “could generate $15 billion” in total revenues. Any auction of relinquished broadcaster spectrum will likely not take place until 2014 at the earliest.
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