FCC Unfolds Roadmap

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The FCC posted plans for next year’s incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum.  They will release a public notice for broadcasters in early fall about the application process.

This fall, the FCC will publicly announce several key items of information:

  • Opening dates for the application filing windows
  • The filing deadline
  • The schedule for mock auctions
  • The information required on the auction application forms

The Commission has said that opening bid prices will be based on a TV station’s interference and population characteristics, and that this methodology will yield opening price offers in the reverse auction of up to $900 million. They will reveal the opening prices later this fall for the forward auction, in which wireless carriers will bid on blocks of spectrum that broadcasters have given up. No later than 60 days before the deadline for reverse auction applications, opening bid prices for the reverse auction will be made public.Once the FCC releases all of that information, they will start accepting applications to participate in the reverse and forward auction, and the application windows will close before the end of the year.

Broadcasters will be able to make minor modifications or corrections necessary to complete their applications. By March 29, 2016, each participating broadcaster that has completed an application must commit to whether it wants to sell all its spectrum, channel share or move to a lower channel, or from a UHF or a VHF channel.

If the price offered to the broadcaster drops during the auction, the broadcaster is no longer obligated to give up its spectrum unless it chooses to remain in the auction at the lower price.
The first round of the forward auction will start no sooner than 15 business days after the FCC releases the list of qualified forward auction bidders.

The FCC plans to offer workshops, webinars and an interactive on-line tutorial before applications are due.

August 24, 2015 |
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