Jenner & Block

Partner Howard Symons Discusses FCC’s Incentive Auction

Jenner & Block Partner Howard J. Symons is the subject of a question-and-answer article in Policy World.  As the former vice-chair of the Federal Communication Commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force, Mr. Symons shares his insight on last year’s event, which was designed to repurpose spectrum for new uses.  He explains that the auction was a first-of-its-kind two-sided spectrum auction, meaning that an auction mechanism was used to determine supply as well as demand.  “The auction succeeded in reallocating 84 MHz of spectrum from broadcast to mobile,” he observes.  “The auction yielded a surplus of about $7 billion that was contributed to the US Treasury after accounting for payments to broadcasters for relinquishing their spectrum; the establishment of a fund to cover the costs of repacking the broadcasters remaining on the air; and the FCC’s costs in designing and running the auction.”=

Mr. Symons has nearly 40 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy.  Before joining the firm in 2017, he served in two high-profile roles at the Federal Communications Commission: as general counsel from 2016 to 2017 and as vice-chair of its Incentive Auction Task Force from 2014 to 2016.