FCC Is Boosting Per-Round Auction Asking Prices

Looking to speed the conclusion of the auction yet again, the FCC Monday (Jan. 30) said it will raise the asking price in each round.

Stage four of the forward portion of the FCC’s spectrum auction moved to its 18th round (Tuesday at 10 a.m.) after bidders upped their ante by about $21 million in round 17 late Monday (to $18,670,477,387 from $18,649,309,387 in round 16).

At about the same time bidders were signaling they were not quite done, the FCC Currently, the clock price for a product is set for each round by adding a fixed 5% increment to the previous round's posted price. Beginning Wednesday, February 1, 2017, the FCC will use a 10% increment to set new clock prices for all products in each round. This 10% increment will be reflected in the next round clock prices announced after the last round of bidding on Tuesday.

The FCC has been raising its ask for spectrum blocks by 5% each round, but with most of the auction action in smaller markets, that winds up being a bump of only a few thousand dollars.

Starting Feb. 1, the FCC will double that to a 10% increase per round over the previous price.

John Eggerton

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.