FCC: Spectrum Bidders Can’t Apply Via Mobile

WASHINGTON — Cellphone companies and others looking to bid on spectrum to boost their wireless broadband capacity and offerings can’t use a smartphone or tablet to apply to take part in that auction.

The Federal Communications Commission has released its instructions for wireless companies and others — including cable operators — who want to bid for reclaimed broadcast spectrum in the forward portion of the incentive auction. Those not using a Windows-based PC or equivalent machine will be out of luck.

The commission is all about mobility when it comes to broadband, but according to the just-released application public notice, “you must complete and submit an application using a personal computer or equivalent device,” the FCC said. “Smartphones and tablets are not supported,” and neither are “Apple or Mac OS,” the agency explained.

An FCC spokesperson called the application a “legacy system,” so the limitations are nothing new.

The window to apply opens at noon (ET) on Jan. 26 and extends to 6 p.m. on Feb. 9. The application window for participating broadcasters closed on Jan. 12.

Among the procedures the FCC outlines for the forward auction application includes eligibility for a designated entity bidding credit and how to pick which license areas to bid on, including for the spectrum reserve.

Applicants can change or withdraw an application at any time until the deadline.

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.