Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
By Lydia Beyoud
Aug. 30 — The Federal Communications Commission ended the first stage of the spectrum incentive auction Aug. 30 and announced it would progress to a second stage at a lower spectrum clearing target.
The agency made the move after 27 rounds of bidding in the first stage reached $23.1 billion in auction proceeds, well below the $88.4 billion necessary to close the auction at the first stage. Industry analysts predict that second round bids will likely top out around $30 billion to $35 billion.
The first-of-its-kind incentive auction involves a form of two-step spectrum flipping from the broadcast TV industry into the hands of wireless carriers. Eligible forward auction bidding participants include top national wireless carriers AT&T Inc., T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless, as well as regional carriers, satellite carrier Dish Network Corp. and cable provider Comcast Corp.
The FCC started the first stage of bidding at its initial 126 megahertz (MHz) spectrum clearing target after receiving strong pressure from both sides of the auction to try to open up as much spectrum as possible. However, the amount of auction proceeds needed to close at that level proved to be beyond the market's ability to supply.
The FCC's move was widely expected. The commission designed the auction to run through multiple stages at successively lower spectrum targets, based on market demand. Telecom industry analysts had predicted that the auction would progress to at least a second stage, though most had not predicted the first stage, which began Aug. 16, would end so soon (2016 TLN 5, 9/1/16).
The FCC may announce a start date for the second stage of the auction as soon as Aug. 31. Auction procedures require a minimum of five business days between stages.
The next stage is expected to be set at a clearing target of 114 MHz. The cost to clear broadcasters from that amount of spectrum should be several billion dollars below the $88.4 billion target set in Round 1, but will also result in fewer wireless licenses on the auction block.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)