Carriers Can Bid for Specific Wireless Spectrum Blocks Starting March 6

The FCC incentive auction now moves to the next stage — where wireless participants will bid on specific spectrum blocks. That next step, which the Commission calls “assignment phase bidding” begins on March 6.

Bidders that won at least one block of paired spectrum in one Partial Economic Area in the forward auction clock phase can participate in the forward auction assignment phase, according to the Incentive Auction Task Force and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Eligible bidders can download their bidding options, which correspond to their clock phase winnings, from the agency’s website between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern on February 21. A preview link will be sent to each bidder. They can also view the sequence and timing rounds for all PEAs, and determine what specific rounds they can take part in.

Because all blocks are contiguous and Category 1 under the band plan associated with the 84 megahertz clearing target, it’s possible to assign every winning bidder from the clock phase contiguous blocks of frequency-specific licenses, regardless of whether they bid in the assignment phase.

The next day, February 22, the FCC will provide one practice bidding auction; a mock auction is scheduled for February 28.

The first round of the forward auction assignment phase bidding begins on March 6, and all assignment rounds are scheduled to end by March 30. The news means a notice concerning what stations broadcasters sold and how much money they will receive will come out of the Commission in early April — before the NAB show later that month.   

February 15, 2017


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