Bidding Begins On FCC Spectrum Auction Stage Two

Bidding starts on the Federal Communications Commission’s Spectrum Incentive Auction Stage 2 at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, and the FCC released a statement on Monday, Sept. 12 previewing “what happens next” and describing how Stage 2 would be different from the previous stage.

The clearing target for this round has been set at 114 megahertz, a little less than the previous 126 megahertz of Stage 1. This target allows an average of nine blocks of spectrum in an individual partial economic are instead of 10 blocks. It also adds two channels to the TV band.

Frozen stations also received information about their status during the second stage from the FCC in its statement. Some of the stations previously provisionally winning after Stage 1 will be unfrozen in Stage 2. These stations will be presented with decreased price offers as bidding rounds progress, and bidders with at least one frozen station at the time of the end of Stage 1 were allowed access to Reverse Auction Bidding for Stage 2 since Sept. 7. Now, those stations will see be labelled “Frozen – Pending Catch-Up.”

The FCC warned stations with the new title to be aware because their status can change during each round. If a station’s status changes to “Bidding” and the bidder does not submit a bid for the station, the system will drop the bid and could make the station exit the auction.

Bidding will be the same in Stage 1. The main difference will be the supply of blocks at the clearing target of 114 megahertz.

At the end of Stage 2, new clearing costs will be announced, and prices will pick up where they were dropped in Stage 1.

The FCC welcomed the public to monitor the auction via their Public Reporting System. Round by round graphic display will be available once Round 1 is complete.

 

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

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Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance