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FCC Preps 24 GHz Auction, Part II

The FCC is preparing to gear up for part two, the assignment phase, of its 24 GHz spectrum auction, which begins Friday, May 3.

The clock phase of the auction ended April 17 with a total $1,988,888,836 bid for the spectrum over 91 rounds--2,909 licenses were available, 2,904 drew bids.

The FCC is auctioning the spectrum to free up more bandwidth for 5G wireless broadband, to help close the rural digital divide, and to make wireless a stronger competitor to wired broadband.

In the assignment phase, winners get to bid on specific frequencies. They don't have to participate, and will still get contiguous blocks of spectrum.

The FCC will not reveal who the winning clock phase bidders were, or the winners in the previous 28 GHz 5G auction, until the assignment phase is also complete.

Eligible assignment phase bidders, which means clock phase winners, can log in to the FCC's bidding system starting Friday (April 26) at noon to access their bidding options (corresponding to their clock phase winnings).

The FCC will conduct a mock auction April 30 to familiarize those bidders with the process. The FCC is strongly urging bidders to participate.

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.