The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that Stage Four of its 600MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction (‘Auction 1002’) has now concluded, bringing the lengthy bidding process – which started on 16 August 2016 – to an end. Bidding reached USD19.632 billion as the auction drew to a close, surpassing the reduced USD10.055 billion ‘clearing cost’ that was negotiated with the nation’s broadcasters last month, via the FCC’s so-called ‘Reverse Auction’.
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai commented: ‘Today, the FCC reached a major milestone in the world’s first incentive auction: bidding in the ‘Forward Auction’ ended. Congratulations to the winners in both the reverse and forward auctions. The participation of these broadcasters and wireless carriers will enable the Commission to release 84MHz of spectrum into the broadband marketplace. These low-band airwaves will improve wireless coverage across the country and will play a particularly important role in deploying mobile broadband services in rural areas.’
TeleGeography notes that 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 bid under the CC Wireless name, while satellite TV firm DISH Network participated as ParkerB.com Wireless.