FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler published a blog post Friday announcing the delay, which was widely expected, saying he hopes the auction will take place in mid-2015. The FCC had set a goal of completing the auction in 2014.
At the auction, TV stations will consider bids to relinquish their airwaves and either go out of business or be placed in another channel. The spectrum will then be put up for licensing by wireless carriers, who covet the low-frequency airwaves because they can cover greater distances and travel more easily through physical barriers.
Observers have called the spectrum auction the most complex proceeding ever undertaken by the FCC. Mr. Wheeler said he has spent more time reviewing the incentive auction than any other issue since taking office, and determined it would be best to wait in order to ensure success. He hopes to avoid any technical difficulties with the software that will be used for the auction.
"I am also confident that the policy challenges are only part of the picture; we must also get the enabling technology right," he said.
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