The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on competitive bidding procedures for Auction 108, its planned sale of 2.5GHz spectrum. The watchdog seeks comment on whether to use a single round pay-as-bid auction design or a simultaneous multiple-round auction design. Certification requirements, upfront payments and minimum opening bid amounts are also under discussion. The FCC notes: ‘The 2.5GHz band is the single largest band of contiguous spectrum in the United States below 3GHz. Much of this band, which is prime spectrum for 5G, has lain fallow for more than 25 years, particularly in rural areas.’
In total, Auction 108 will offer up to three blocks of spectrum licensed on a county basis, for a total of approximately 8,300 licences. The specific inventory of licences available will be determined by the results of the ‘Rural Tribal Priority Window’, a process which gave federally recognised Tribes the opportunity to submit applications to acquire new 2.5GHz licenses for currently unassigned white space spectrum in order to provide broadband services on rural Tribal lands. The remaining unassigned spectrum will be made available through competitive bidding.
TeleGeography notes that the FCC’s current 5G spectrum sale, Auction 107, is expected to draw to a close in the coming days. As of yesterday (13 January) total bids for the 3.7GHz spectrum stood at USD80.9 billion.