The FCC’s forward auction to reallocate broadcasters’ spectrum licenses to wireless providers marginally cleared its $10 billion clearing target Wednesday, setting the stage to transfer broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use and the development of new wireless technology.
With the results of yesterday’s rounds of the FCC’s forward auction, the bidding has satisfied the requirements of the incentive auction’s Final Stage Rule, meaning that the auction will successfully conclude in Stage 4. Bidding will continue in Stage 4 until there is no excess demand in any market and following the close of the clock auction, the Commission will conduct an assignment phase where winning wireless bidders may bid for specific blocks.
“The world’s first spectrum incentive auction has delivered on its ambitious promise,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement.
“Reaching the Final Stage Rule means the benefits of the auction are indisputable. We will repurpose 70 MHz of high-value, completely clear low-band spectrum for mobile broadband on a nationwide basis. On top of that, 14 MHz of new unlicensed spectrum – the test bed for wireless innovation – will be available for consumer devices and new services. The auction will provide $10.05 billion to broadcast television licensees who participated and billions towards deficit reduction.”
Wheeler said there is still a long road ahead to successfully implement the post-auction transition of broadcast stations to their new channels and bring the new wireless and unlicensed spectrum to market.