Incentive Auction Bidding Rules Comment Cycle Established

WASHINGTON—The comment cycle for proposed rules governing the bidding process in the 2016 Spectrum Incentive Auction is established. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the Federal Communications Commission has now been published in the Federal Register. Publication sets the comment deadline at Dec. 29, 2014; with replies due Jan. 20, 2015.

“Our proposals also advance the statutory directive to ensure that small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women… are given the opportunity to participate in the provision of spectrum-based services,” the Oct. 10 NPRM states.

One suggested modification would allow small entities to lease spectrum back to large carriers rather then develop it. Another main provision of the NPRM is that it affirms existing rule prohibiting joint bidding by Tier 1 providers. It was said to be adopted by the commission in response to a plan by T-Mobile and Sprint to form a joint-venture to raise $10 billion for buying spectrum at the auction, according to TmoNews.

It also proposes updating and streamlining requirements for small businesses, addresses bidder reliability and duplicative registration by the same entities organized as separate businesses.