FCC’s CBRS Auction Inches Up

(Image credit: FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission's Citizens Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS)  auction has been inching up over the last few rounds, increasing by only a few million dollars per round.

After round 58, gross auction proceeds were $4,519,282,603 after 58 rounds, up only about $13.5 million from the $4,505,734,069 in round 57. 

Counties with demand for spectrum greater than supply was down to 49 from 60 the previous round.

Pre-auction estimates ranged from about $2 billion to as much as $10 billion. 

The FCC continues to hold four one-hour rounds per day, but it could decrease the time in rounds or increase the frequency or take some other steps to speed the conclusion of the auction.

The FCC is auctioning 70 MHz worth of county-based Priority Access Licenses (PALs) — a whopping 22,631 of them in the 3550-3650 MHz 93.5 GHz band. That is the most-ever flexible use licenses mae available in a single auction, the FCC said. Each license will be a 10 MHz unpaired channel.   

The FCC set a reserve price on the spectrum at $107,991,840, which was met in round one.  

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.