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FCC Launches C-Band Auction, Part II

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The FCC will start the second phase of the C-band spectrum auction Feb. 8.

The first phase--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. 

Also Read: FCC Issues Final Call for C-Band Earth Stations

The online assignment phase bidding system will open at 10 a.m., Feb. 2, for applicants to access their bidding options depending on their clock phase winnings. There will also be a mock (practice) auction Feb. 4.

“This auction has exceeded expectations, and, at this point, we are pushing forward to get this critical piece of mid-band spectrum to market quickly, where it will help American consumers tap into next generation wireless services,” said acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I thank the FCC staff who work so hard to ensure the success of our spectrum auctions.  Few things we do have as great an impact on the day-to-day lives of the American people as our work to ensure spectrum is available for wireless connectivity.”

The FCC's rules on prohibiting certain communications continue to apply, which means winning bidders can't disclose that they won or didn't win, for that matter.

Also Read: FCC Opens Window for Updated C-Band Transition Plans

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.

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.