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Assignment Phase Bidding in 3.45 GHz Auction Begins

A communications tower in the clouds
(Image credit: John Lund via Getty Images)

Bidding was scheduled to begin Thursday (Dec. 9) in the assignment phase of the FCC's 3.45 GHz auction.

The clock phase, where companies bid for contiguous spectrum blocks, ended last month, grossing $21,888,007,794--before bidding credits are factored in, which will slightly lower that total--the FCC provided a $25 million bidding credit for small businesses and a $10 million credit for rural providers.

In the assignment phase, winning bidders who wish to can bid--online or by phone--for specific frequencies. Those who choose not to participate in the follow-on assignment auction still get contiguous frequencies that correspond to the number of blocks they won.

Last March, the FCC voted to allocate the 3.45-3.55 GHz band for flexible use, complete the relocation of secondary non-federal commercial users, and sunset amateur use of a portion of the band.

The winning bidders are still in a quiet period, so can't identify themselves or talk about whether or not they are bidding in the assignment phase. ■

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.