The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that the ‘clearing cost’ attached to Stage Four of its 600MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction (‘Auction 1002’) has been reduced to USD10.055 billion, down from USD40.313 billion in Stage Three, as the regulator seeks to bring the long-running process to a successful close. The clearing cost has been established by a so-called ‘Reverse Auction’ with the country’s broadcasters; Stage Four of the parallel ‘Forward Auction’ is expected to commence this week.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, at the end of Stage Three the total proceeds of Auction 1002 stood at USD19.676 billion, far short of the clearing cost. The proceedings cannot be brought to a definitive end until the clearing cost is met. Both Stage Two and Stage Three of the auction ended abruptly late last year, with a solitary round of bidding in each instance.
A total of 62 companies registered to participate in the process, including mobile giants Verizon Wireless (bidding as Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless), AT&T Mobility (AT&T Spectrum Holdings) and T-Mobile US, while Sprint Corp opted to sit out the process. In addition, cable giant Comcast is bidding under the CC Wireless name, while satellite TV firm DISH Network is participating as ParkerB.com Wireless.