FCC Spectrum Auction Tops $6 Billion

The FCC's latest high-band 5G spectrum auction pushed past $6 billion in gross proceeds, ending the first day back from a holiday break Monday (Jan. 6) with $6,163,938,852, up from $5,757,682,316 when the auction was suspended last month.

The FCC is auctioning a whopping 3,400 MHz, the most spectrum ever in one auction, of millimeter-wave spectrum (in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands). The spectrum can be used for both fixed and mobile broadband and is being auctioned in 100 MHz blocks in partial economic areas (PEAs).

The most recent high-band, spectrum frontier, auction, which ended last May raised $2,024,268,941 in gross proceeds after 91 rounds, but that was for approximately 700 MHz.

Currently the bidding has been robust, but if it slows, the FCC will likely increase the number of rounds and possibly shorten them from an hour to a half hour.

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.