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FCC 2.5 GHz Auction Draws $100M in First Round

A closeup of U.S. money
(Image credit: Yuriy_Kulik/Getty Images)

The FCC drew over $100 million ($103,467,300 to be exact) in the first round of its 2.5 GHz auction, its latest effort to free up midband spectrum for 5G.

There was only one, six-hour round on Friday, the first day of the auction. Qualified bidders include AT&T, Verizon Communications, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

The L.A. market drew the highest bid at $2.9 million.

The 2.5 GHz spectrum had been used, the FCC says underused, by educational broadband services (EBS), but the FCC voted to open it up to commercial 5G operations.

EBS, formerly Instructional Television Fixed Service, or ITFS, was used in the 1960s for closed-circuit broadcasts to educational institutions, but was rebooted in the early 2000s and pointed toward broadband.

Also: FCC Closes Tribal Window for 12 GHz

The FCC has eliminated use requirements and leasing restrictions on the band. ■

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.