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FCC Postpones, Adjusts Spectrum Auctions

The FCC has indefinitely postponed Auction 106--an auction of FM broadcast construction permits that had been scheduled to start at April 28, 2020--but said it still plans to hold its auction of priority access licenses in the CBRS band (Auction 105) this summer, the latest step in the FCC's race to freeing up 5G spectrum. 

The CBRS license auction filing window will now open April 23, 2020, and close May 7. 

Bidding will begin July 23. The auction had been scheduled to begin June 25. It features the most licenses ever up for bid in a single auction--22,631.  

As to auction 106, the FCC said that anyone who had submitted upfront payments can get a refund upon written request.  

The FCC voted 3-1 along party lines Oct. 23, 2018, to change the rules on licenses for the 3.5 GHz (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) band to make it more attractive for providers of 5G at auction, which includes cable ops looking to up their mobile broadband game. The change was billed as a way to spur investment in the band and promote more efficient use, including for 5G.