FCC's Latest TV Reverse Auction Ending Dec 1

Author: John Eggerton
Coverage Type: reporting
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

The Federal Communications Commission signaled that, barring the unforeseen, stage three of the reverse portion of the broadcast incentive auction will close Dec 1. That had been the expectation, but the FCC put an exclamation point on it by announcing it would hold up to five rounds that day, rather than the planned three rounds, to insure it wraps up, with the first two rounds an hour apiece and the last three lightning rounds at a half-hour apiece in case some last-minute decisions need to be accommodated.

That means on Dec 1, the FCC will announce the latest value broadcasters have put on the spectrum they are volunteering to give up entirely or move off of, which is the total that forward auction bidders will have to meet—plus auction and broadcaster moving expenses—in order for the auction to close successfully. Stage three of the forward auction will likely begin within a matter of days. So far, forward auction bidders—primarily wireless companies or would-be wireless companies looking to use it for broadband—have failed to come near broadcasters first two asking prices, which was about $86 billion for 126 MHz and then about $55 billion for 114 MHz.


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