By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 3-27-17
The end is coming this week for the broadcast incentive auction. The reverse auction (broadcaster portion of the auction) has been over since Jan. 18, but the assignment-phase auction for forward auction bidders is scheduled to close March 30.
That is the follow-up auction where forward auction winners are bidding on specific frequency assignments for the 10 MHz blocks of spectrum they won. They are not required to bid, but if they don’t they will just get what the FCC assigns them. On March 30, the FCC is expected to announce the new auction total with the follow-on take added in, but will not identify who won what for a nother couple of weeks.
In mid-April, the commission will release a public notice identifying the winning bidders in both reverse and forward auctions. It will also publicly announce the new channels for TV stations being repacked so the 84 MHz of broadcast spectrum cleared in the auction can be turned over to those forward auction bidders for wireless broadband – comprising 70 MHz for licensed users and 14 MHz for unlicensed and buffer bands between wireless uplink and downlink and between wireless and broadcast users. » Read More