On January 13, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on the competitive bidding procedures that will apply to Auction 108 - the auction it intends to conduct to license the remaining available spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band (i.e., EBS white space). A copy of the Public Notice may be found here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-14A1.pdf.
Auction 108 will offer up to three blocks of contiguous spectrum ( ) on a county-by-county basis, a total of approximately 8,300 licenses. These will be “overlay” licenses, meaning that a licensee will ultimately only have access to spectrum in the county that is not already licensed to an incumbent EBS license holder.
The Public Notice seeks comment on the basic auction process – whether to conduct a single bid, winner takes all approach (which the FCC calls a “single-round pay-as-bid auction design”) or approach allowing multiple bidding rounds (which the FCC calls a “simultaneous multiple-round auction design”). The Public Notice also seeks comments on other bidding procedures, upfront payments and minimum opening bid amounts.
Concurrent with the release of the Public Notice, the FCC has made available a file listing all county and frequency block combinations potentially available for Auction 108, although the list is subject to the final results of the Rural Tribal Priority Window. Therefore, this list will be updated as still-pending Tribal applications are acted on. The file is listed as “Attachment A” on the Auction 108 website found here: https://www.fcc.gov/auction/108.
Comments in response to the Public Notice will be due 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. NEBSA will provide an update on the comment deadline when the Fed Reg publication date is known.