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Stage 3 of the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction is over with no end to the process in sight

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Stage 3 of the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction is over with no end to the process in sight
With all of the heavy hitters participating in the FCC auction of 600MHz spectrum, it was believed that the process, once started, would get done rather quickly. But the auction of this valuable low frequency spectrum has turned into a poker game. Up for grabs is 108MHz of spectrum that would actually result in 80MHz of licensed spectrum for use. The low frequency airwaves are valuable because they travel farther and penetrate buildings better than higher-frequency spectrum.

When Stage 2 failed to garner enough bids to top the clearing cost, the amount of spectrum offered was reduced and Stage 3 begun. But this stage drew $19.7 billion with a clearing cost of $40.3 billion. That means bidders like Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T bid just 49% of the clearing cost.


So now the FCC will meet with the television stations that own the spectrum, and will reduce the amount offered once again. A new clearing cost will be computed and Stage 4 is expected to start on December 13th. If the clearing cost is topped, the auction moves to the final stage. If not, Stage 5 awaits.

source: FCC via FierceWireless

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