FCC’s H Block Auction Back in Business

The FCC's H block auction was back on track Feb. 6 following a day off due to snow in the FCC's Gettysburg. Pa., auction center.

At press time, and after 44 rounds, the total was $1,250,260,800 bid on 176 licenses. There had been 32 new bids since the last round Tuesday (43) for only an additional $3,104,000.

There were no new bids on New York, which is the top dollar-getter at $216,955,000.

The auction continues until there are no new bids or withdrawals or waivers extended. If it does not meet the minimum aggregate bid of $1.564 billion, the FCC would have to regroup and start over, though that would not happen immediately.

The bidders are mostly regional carriers rather than the major players, but Dish is bidding—though under another name, according to reports—and has promised to bid at least that minimum, insuring the FCC will not have to start over.

It is under a congressional mandate to auction and reassign the spectrum by next year. This is the first of three spectrum auctions, culminating in the 2015 broadcast incentive auction.

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.