FCC spectrum auction to wrap March 30

The FCC’s latest spectrum auction is likely to end this week. The auction has been running since January although the FCC isn’t likely to announce the ‘winners’ – or the individual values of the allocated spectrum for a week or two.

However, it is widely expected that the auction’s earlier first stage – which ended on February 10th – and which saw $19.6 billion raised, will end up with more than $6 billion going to the US Treasury and a further $10 billion being allocated to those broadcasters who agreed to relinquish some of their own frequencies.  Some $1.75 billion is likely to go to broadcasters who must change their channel frequencies.

The FCC has been assigning licences drawn from the 600 MHz of spectrum and spread over 428 regions and areas affected by the changes. Bids for these licence blocks are now received, and observers expect the largest chunks of spectrum will go to cellular operators such as AT&T, T-Mobile and most of their wireless rivals.

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