December 6, 2016 — Auction proceeds $19.7 billion fell far short of the $42.2 billion target as the third stage of the incentive auction concluded after one round yesterday.
The auction system’s clearing target determination procedure has set a spectrum clearing target of 108 megahertz for Stage 3 of the incentive auction. Under the band plan associated with this spectrum clearing target, 80 megahertz, or 8 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum were offered in the forward auction on a near-nationwide basis.
Stage three activity was reminiscent of stage 2, which ended after one round with $21.5 billion in bids for 114 megahertz of spectrum (90 megahertz minus the guard bands). That was well short of the target of $56 billion required by the broadcasters. There was even more distance between the amount of money the industry was willing to pony up and what the broadcasters said they needed in the first round: $23 billion versus $88 billion for 126 megahertz of spectrum (100 megahertz minus the guard bands) .
The FCC expects to release a public notice Dec. 9 with details about the next stage, including a reduced spectrum clearing target for stage four, which is expected to begin Dec. 13.