FCC's Spectrum Auction Moves to Three Rounds

The FCC has signaled it will move to three, shorter rounds, per day for the spectrum auction beginning June 13.

If the FCC continued that schedule through the maximum 52 rounds—June 13 begins round 17—the reverse auction will be completed in a dozen business days from that date. Once the reverse auction is completed, the forward auction begins.

The FCC is auctioning TV station spectrum for re-auction to wireless operators in the forward auction.

The FCC began May 31 with one, six-hour round, followed by one, four-hour round, on June 1, then into the regular routine of two, two-hour rounds—10 a.m. to noon and 3-5 p.m., which will continue through Friday, June 10.

Starting June 13, the rounds will be shortened to one hour, three times a day. The FCC lowers prices in each round.

The longer initial rounds were to give bidders the time to check in with the FCC if they had issues or questions. The shorter rounds suggest an increasing comfort level with the bidding system, said an FCC source.

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.