The new F.C.C. chairman’s plan to slacken net neutrality rules is a boon to tech giants and a bane to competitors and innovators.
Recent changes at the F.C.C. governing station ownership would allow Fox and Blackstone to vie for 42 television stations, valued at about $3.2 billion.
Mr. Pai, who has been unwinding Obama-era regulatory efforts, is putting two items up for vote on Thursday that would empower telecom companies and broadcasters.
First, privacy rules fell. Up next are net neutrality, broadband subsidies and rules blocking local media consolidation.
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission launched an auction that will allow broadcasters to sell all or parts of their broadcast spectrum, which could then be purchased by wireless carriers looking to expand their reach. Some analysts initially projected that just public TV stations could bring in as much as $6.8 billion, but given the complex nature of the auction and the number of stations actually participating, that total is now reportedly expected to be much less. However, stations in big markets could still be very valuable. The state of New Jersey, for instance, owns four public TV licenses that could be valued at up to $2.3 billion, according to reported federal estimates. Though New Jersey lawmakers have lowered their expectations for a potential windfall, the advocacy group Free Press last month launched a campaign to encourage New Jersey and other public station license holders participating Continue reading "“Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”: Local news could see a windfall from the FCC’s spectrum auction"