The FCC has released a Public Notice outlining the class of mathematical software it may use to conduct “feasibility checks” during the repacking portion of the 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction. Feasibility checks allow the Commission to determine whether it is possible to assign a set of TV Stations new channels without violating any “statutory or other constraints.” The feasibility check will not determine “optimal” channel assignments, just if channels are available at all. Finding the optimal channel assignment will take too long to be completed during the reverse auction. The Commission will determine optimal channel assignments after the reverse auction has been completed. Through the Public Notice, the Commission discusses two classes of mathematical software (“solvers”) that might be used to conduct the feasibility checks: satisfiability solvers and integer optimization solvers. The Commission invites the public to comment on the feasibility check approaches outlined in the Public Notice. There is no deadline for filing comments, and commenters should follow the Commission’s ex parte submission processes.
The Incentive Auction Task Force also announced that it intends to hold a Workshop/Webinar in February to discuss the approaches that should be adopted for the feasibility checks, but the date has not yet been announced.