FCC Moves to Speed CBRS Auction

The FCC will goose the CBRS auction beginning Thursday. 

The commission said Wednesday (Aug. 12) that starting Aug. 14, it will move to four, one-hour rounds per day. 

The bidding has been in three, 1.5 hour rounds, since July 29. It is not unusual for the FCC to shorten the rounds and increase the number as a way to speed up the auction. 

Currently, the auction has completed 38 rounds with gross proceeds of $3,476,360,983. Gross proceeds after round 36 were $3,293,554,627 and $3,384,621,416 after round 37, so that is increases of only about $100 million per day, compared the the previous week, when bidding increased by over $1.5 billion in only five days.

The FCC is auctioning 70 MHz worth of county-based Priority Access Licenses (PALs) (a whopping 22,631 of them) in the 3550-3650 MHz 93.5 GHz) band. It is them most-ever flexible-use licenses available in a single auction, the FCC said. Each license will be a 10 MHz unpaired channel.  

The auction is intended "to further deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other advanced spectrum-based services in the United States." 

The FCC set a reserve price on the spectrum at $107,991,840, which was met in round one.  

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.