MMTC Unhappy No DEs Got H Block Spectrum

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council was not happy that there were no designated entity winners (women, minorities), in the FCC's just-completed H block auction.

That is because Dish got all 176 licenses. The FCC granted Dish a waiver for more flexible use of adjacent spectrum, which was Dish's quid pro quo for bidding, but only so long as Dish guaranteed the minimum aggregate asking price of $1.564 billion. The auction raised just that amount and Dish walked away with the whole pot.

"The H Block auction was successful in garnering revenue from DISH's bid to help fund FirstNet," said MMTC President David Honig. "That is a laudable achievement, but the lack of MWBE participation in the auction reconfirms that improving the Designated Entity Program must be an FCC priority for future spectrum auctions."

Those would include the AWS auction later this year and the broadcaster incentive auction targeted for mid-2015.

MMTC said there were 10 DE's among the 23 bidders for H block spectrum, though none were minority-owned businesses

The H block is 10 MHZ of paired spectrum that can be used for wireless broadband. Honig urged the FCC to act on MMTC recommendations for improving the DE program to ensure they do not "come up short" in future auctions.

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.