FCC Begins Mid-Band Spectrum Auction

FCC seal
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission kicked off a mid-band spectrum auction on October 5 that will offer licenses in  the 3.45 GHz band which will be important in the development of next generation wireless services and 5G. 

Auction 110 will make available 100 megahertz of contiguous mid-band spectrum for commercial use this year.  

“We are moving with record speed and collaboration to free up more mid-band spectrum for 5G,” said FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “These airwaves are a critical part of unlocking the 5G promise everywhere in the country. I want to thank the FCC staff who have worked so hard to start this auction this year. And I want to thank our partners at NTIA and the Department of Defense for working with us to free up this spectrum for 5G.”

Bidding in the first phase of the auction, the clock phase, kicked off at 10 a.m. ET on October 5.  

As required by law, auction proceeds must cover 110% of the expected sharing and relocation costs for federal users currently operating in the band – in this case $14,775,354,330, based on a January 14, 2021 estimate from NTIA.

The 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act required the Commission to begin this auction this year, the FCC said. The FCC adopted flexible use service rules for the 3.45 GHz band in March 2021 and established procedures for Auction 110 in June. 

License winners will operate within a cooperative sharing framework that will enable commercial use by an array of service providers, while also ensuring that federal incumbents are still protected from harmful interference where and when they require continued access to the band, the FCC said. 

For more information on Auction 110, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/auction/110.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.