FCC: C-Band Auction Still 'Go' for December

The FCC has no plans to postpone its planned auction of C-band spectrum.

That is according to senior FCC officials speaking on background Monday (March 30) about the impact of COVID-19 on FCC processes and actions.

Related: Divided FCC Votes to Proceed with C-Band Auction

The C-band is the midband spectrum currently used by satellite operators to deliver network programming to broadcasters and cable operators.

The officials said there was still plenty of "bandwidth and time," even given the move of the 3.5 GHz (CBRS) auction. They said it was still important to transition the C-band to 5G use, but that of course if there was a compelling reason to adjust that timeline they that is still on the table.

Related: FCC Postpones, Adjusts Spectrum Auctions

Currently, the FCC plans to auction 280 MHz of the spectrum for advanced wireless beginning in December.

It announced earlier that it had postponed the auction of those CBRS spectrum licenses, but that had been scheduled for June, and it has only been pushed back a month.

Related: Spain Postpones 5G Spectrum Auction

The officials said there were no plans for blanket extensions of waivers or comment deadlines due to the coronavirus, but that the FCC would continue to respond flexibly to individual requests for more time on a case-by-case basis. 

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.