The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that it has rescheduled its planned auction of frequencies in the 3550MHz-3650MHz (3.5GHz) band as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The spectrum sale – which had been scheduled to commence on 25 June – will now start on 23 July. The short-form application (FCC Form 175) filing window will now open on 23 April and close on 7 May, with upfront payments due on 19 June.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai commented: ‘Many Americans have had to make tough decisions on how they do business in this rapidly changing environment, and the FCC is no different … But we remain committed to holding the 3.5GHz auction this summer and look forward to beginning this important mid-band auction in July.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the auction will offer seven Priority Access Licences (PALs) in each county-based licence area, for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide. Each PAL will be a ten-year renewable licence, consisting of an unpaired 10MHz channel. Bidders will be allowed to bid for up to four generic blocks of spectrum per county.