The FCC's C-Band assignment phase auction began Monday (Feb. 8).
The first phase of the C-Band auction--a clock auction--ended Jan. 15 with gross proceeds of $80,916,832,754 for 5,684 licenses for generic spectrum blocks.
In the second, assignment phase, winning bidders who choose to can bid on specific combinations of 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.
The FCC voted last February to free up 300 MHz of C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) satellite spectrum for terrestrial 5G broadband, 280 of that to be auctioned and 20 MHz to be used as a guard band between wireless users and the incumbent satellite operators that are being relocated to the remaining upper 200 MHz to continue to deliver network programming to broadcasters and cable operators (and other) clients, and to relay video from the field to the studio.
The FCC said its auction staff will be available to answer bidders' questions during the auction, but the questions have to come from "an authorized bidder, the contact person, or the certifying official on the qualified bidder’s [application].
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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.