Friday, April 14, 2017
FCC: Spectrum Auction Revenue Reaches $19.8B
At $19.8 billion in gross revenue for 70MHz of spectrum, the incentive auction is among the highest grossing auctions ever conducted by the FCC. The Commission now commences a 39-month transition period to move broadcast stations to new channel assignments.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “The conclusion of the world’s first incentive auction is a major milestone in the FCC’s long history as steward of the nation’s airwaves. Consumers are the real beneficiaries, as broadcasters invest new resources in programming and service, and additional wireless spectrum opens the way to greater competition and innovation in the mobile broadband marketplace.”
The FCC notes there are more connected mobile devices than there are people living in the U.S., and about 70 percent of Americans use data-hungry smartphones. This increasing demand for wireless airwaves poses a major challenge to ensuring that America’s networks have the capacity to support the critical economic, public safety, health care and other activities that rely on them. In order to meet this challenge, the FCC designed the broadcast incentive auction through close bipartisan collaboration with Congress as well as the broadcast and wireless industries.
Broadcasters: More than $10B in winning bids, minimal impact on viewers
More than $10 billion will go to 175 winning broadcasters that elected to participate in the incentive auction and repurpose their airwaves for mobile use. Of the winners, 30 stations will receive money for agreeing to move to a lower channel and 133 others will relinquish their licenses and indicated their intent to remain on air through channel-sharing agreements with non-winning stations.
The FCC also announced the new channel assignments, and effective dates of those assignments, for 957 non-winning stations that must change channels to clear the new wireless airwaves for use. The first group of stations to move channels is scheduled for November 30, 2018. Stations are required to provide 30 days’ notice, and the FCC provides information for over-the-air viewers on how to “rescan” their receivers to find new channels at www.fcc.gov/incentiveauctions/consumers.
To view the entire list of broadcasters who won at auction nationwide, Click Here
Wireless Carriers: Bid $19.8 billion for 70 MHz of spectrum for mobile use
In the forward auction, wireless carriers bid $19.8 billion on mobile broadband spectrum. A total of 50 winning bidders won 70 MHz of licensed spectrum nationwide. A total of 14 MHz of spectrum is available for unlicensed use and wireless microphones. On a nationwide basis, 70 MHz is the most mobile broadband ever auctioned below 1GHz by the FCC. Among the largest winners are T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, and US Cellular. For a full list of winners, Click Here
Posted 5:52:00 AM