C-Band Alliance Joins With U.S. Wireless Community on FCC Filing Detailing C-Band Auction Principles
National, regional, and rural wireless operators join with
Principles include auction transparency, fairness, and efficiency; multi-round ascending clock auction format; and contribution of a portion of proceeds to U.S. Treasury
Consistent with the goal of clearing spectrum and completing the auction efficiently and expeditiously, the CBA has proposed to clear a first tranche of 120 MHz of spectrum, inclusive of the 20-MHz guard band, in 46 top metropolitan zones within 18 months of an FCC order. The second tranche of the remaining spectrum would be made available within 36 months of the C-band auction, providing cleared spectrum throughout the entire continental U.S.
The auction design outlined in the principles agreed to by the CBA and the wireless operators addresses the shared goals of fairness and transparency and assures that the auction is open to all qualified bidders, consistent with FCC practice. The auction principles suggest use of a multi-round ascending clock auction format that is substantively similar to other recent FCC auctions. The principles call for a single auction that would include all proposed cleared spectrum, divided into 20 MHz blocks based on PEAs, regardless of clearing timing or tranche. Other principles detailed in the filing include the setting of an aggregate reserve price and the agreement for participants to be bound by the FCC’s communications rules, reporting obligations, and enforcement.
As the CBA has previously committed, the joint principles call for a portion of the auction proceeds, beyond what is needed to cover the costs of the auction and the transition of the spectrum, to be contributed to the U.S. Treasury.
The repurposing of up to 300 MHz of C-band spectrum is contingent upon a number of factors which at this stage cannot be guaranteed and their outcome is uncertain, including the following: (i) a final FCC Order that accepts the CBA’s market-based proposal; and (ii) a satisfactory market-based process with potential terrestrial 5G users of the repurposed spectrum.
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