TR Daily CBRS Auction Closes With Gross Proceeds of Nearly $4.6 Billion
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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

CBRS Auction Closes With Gross Proceeds of Nearly $4.6 Billion

The FCC’s 3.5 gigahertz band auction (Auction 105) of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) priority access licenses (PALs) closed today after the 76th round with gross bids of nearly $4.6 billion.

“Gross proceeds reached $4,585,663,345, and bidders won 20,625 of 22,631 [licenses], or more than 91.1%, of available licenses,” the agency noted in a news release. “The FCC will release a public notice in a few days providing detailed auction results, including the names of Auction 105 winning bidders, and announcing deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications, as well as other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licenses.”

“This is a banner day for American leadership in 5G and for American consumers. The 3.5 GHz auction has concluded, and I can say unequivocally: It was a resounding success,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The strong demand for licenses was the direct result of this Commission’s reforms to the rules for the 3.5 GHz band—reforms that would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work of my colleague, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. This auction has been a key part of our 5G FAST Plan and our ongoing push to make more mid-band spectrum available for 5G. I look forward to this important spectrum being put to use quickly to provide service to the American people. And I look forward to the Commission making available 280 more megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G in the C-band auction beginning on December 8.”

“The conclusion of the CBRS auction is the culmination of the extraordinary work of so many in industry and government,” said Mr. O’Rielly, who was the point person on updating the CBRS rules. “I take great pride in leading the significant effort that went into fixing our previous rules, resulting in a successful auction and new mid-band spectrum licenses for 5G and other innovative services. My hat’s off to the winners, and I look forward to closely reviewing the results.”

Auction 105 began on July 23 (TR Daily, July 23). It made available the largest number of licenses in a single auction; 70 megahertz of spectrum was available. A whopping 271 parties were eligible to participate in the sale, including major wireless providers and cable companies; telephone cooperatives and wireless Internet service providers; utilities; and universities.

The major wireless carriers that were eligible to participate were AT&T Spectrum Frontiers LLC, Verizon Wireless Network Procurement LP, and T-Mobile License LLC. United States Cellular Corp. also qualified, as did Dish Network Corp. (filing as Wetterhorn Wireless LLC). Cable operators that qualified included Comcast Corp. (XF Wireless Investment LLC), Charter Communications, Inc. (Spectrum Wireless Holdings LLC), Cox Communications, Inc., Mediacom LLC, and Cable One, Inc.

Other qualified bidders included Cal.net, Inc., Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Cooperative CBRS Consortium, Deere & Co., the city of Donalsonville, Ga., Duke University and Health System, Exelon Corp., Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, Inc., Frontier Communications Corp. DIP, Illinois Electric Cooperative, Midcontinent Communications, Muscatine Power and Water, Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc., San Diego Gas and Electric Co., Texas A&M University, Union Telephone Co., University of Virginia Foundation, and Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-in-Possession.

The auction’s start date was pushed back by about a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic (TR Daily, March 25). —Paul Kirby, [email protected]

MainStory: FCC FederalNews SpectrumAllocation

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