Stage Two of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) 600MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction (‘Auction 1002’) came to an abrupt end this week after a single round of bidding. In total, bidders offered USD21.520 billion for TV broadcasters’ airwaves in the so-called ‘Forward Auction’, far short of the USD54.586 billion ‘clearing cost’ that was necessary to bring the proceedings to a definitive end. As a result, the FCC must now reduce the amount of 600MHz spectrum it will free up for wireless purposes and stage a third ‘Reverse Auction’ with the country’s TV broadcasters, as it seeks to bring down the cost of the spectrum and reignite the bidding process.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Stage One of the Forward Auction ended on Tuesday 30 August with the watchdog racking up USD23.108 billion worth of bids after 27 rounds of bidding. Stage One of the Reverse Auction previously saw the clearing cost for 126MHz of spectrum established at USD86.423 billion, significantly exceeding analyst expectations.
A total of 62 companies registered to participate in the process, including mobile giants Verizon Wireless (bidding as Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless), AT&T Mobility (AT&T Spectrum Holdings) and T-Mobile US, while Sprint Corp opted to sit out the process. In addition, cable giant Comcast will be bidding under the CC Wireless name, while satellite TV firm DISH Network will bid as ParkerB.com Wireless.