Advanced Television

FCC C-band auction continues to break records

January 5, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The FCC’s Auction 107 which is handling the sale of licences for the 3.7 GHz C-band has again broken records. The five bidding periods on January 4th saw an additional $6.67 billion placed in bids and taking the overall total to $76.5 billion in gross proceeds.

There will be more. The auction continues throughout this week with scheduled Rounds 51-70 taking place in 30-minute bidding sessions opening at 10.00am ET on January 5th and continuing until 16.30 ET on January 8th.

The amount raised so far widely exceed the pre-auction estimates which were placed in the range of $25-$30 billion.

It is worth noting that some bidders for rural licences (population density of less than 100 persons per square mile) could qualify for discounts on their bids of up to 15 per cent although with a $10 million cap on the discount. Other discounts are available for smaller telcos. For example, a business with annual gross revenues of less than $20 million for the preceding 5 years could qualify for a 25 per cent discount.

In total the FCC is offering 5684 new flexible use licences. There are 57 “qualified bidders”.

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