Bloomberg News

Airwaves-Auction Proceeds Drop by $11.6 Billion in Obama Budget

February 14, 2012

(For further information on the budget, see BUDG <GO>.)

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration estimated that auctions of airwaves would raise $16.2 billion under its proposed federal budget for the next fiscal year, $11.6 billion less than the year-earlier projection.

The estimate contained in the Obama spending proposal released today tracks with Congressional Budget Office calculations that airwaves auctions included in legislation passed by the House in December would bring in $16.7 billion.

The administration’s projection last year of $27.8 billion was criticized as optimistic, Andrew Lipman, a Washington-based partner in the media, telecommunications and technology practice at Bingham McCutchen LLP, said in an interview today.

The administration wants to devote more airwaves to wireless high-speed Internet service. It proposes paying television station owners who voluntarily surrender unneeded airwaves for auction, and requires congressional approval.

Lawmakers are trying to reconcile differing House and Senate versions of bills authorizing the auctions.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Steve Walsh

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at

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