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That's All Folks: Incentive Auction Concludes

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission today announced the conclusion of the TV spectrum incentive auction. The assignment phase, where winning wireless bidders vied for specific frequencies, concluded today as planned. The final take was $19.8 billion. Specifically, the commission added another $136 million in the frequency-assignment phase of the auction.

“Today’s conclusion of the assignment phase formally brings all bidding activity in this multi-phase auction to a close,” said Auction Task Force Chairman Gary Epstein. “The incentive auction has required unprecedented commitment from bidders as well as commission staff, who from the moment that broadcasters made their initial commitments to the final bids processed this afternoon have worked each day to assist bidders and ensure a fair and successful auction. We are excited to share the results of the reverse and forward auctions and extensive information about the post-auction transition in the next few weeks.

From the commission’s spectrum auction Dashboard site: “The FCC will release the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice in a few weeks. This public notice will announce the results of the reverse and forward auctions and will provide important information, reminders, and details regarding post-auction procedures and the obligations of successful bidders in the reverse and forward auctions. On the same day, each forward auction applicant that became a qualified bidder will receive an email with a link to the location of the public notice on the commission's website. A few days later, forward auction bidders will receive a package that includes the form needed to make payments for winning bids and an envelope for returning the RSA SecurID tokens used to access the auction system.

“The day after release of the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice, the commission will make available complete forward auction round-by-round results, including bidder identities. These results will be available to bidders and to the public in the Public Reporting System [aka , the “Dashboard.”

“Before the end of the day tomorrow [Friday, March 31, 2017], a document [specifying the file formats of the reverse and forward auction results will be published after the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice is released. It will] be available under the Data section of both the Auction 1001 and the Auction 1002 websites.” 

“In addition, an online tutorial on the immediate post-auction process for the forward auction will be available under the Education section of the Auction 1002 website.

“We suggest that bidders also review the Post-Auction Process section of the Applications Procedure Public Notice (DA 15-1183), released Oct. 15, 2015.

“Bidder access to the auction system for the assignment phase will be available until 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Bidders that wish to download their results files for the forward auction assignment phase should do so before that time.

“The Auction Bidder Line will be available until 5:30 p.m. Eastern time today. If you have further questions after that time, please call the Auction Hotline at 717-338-2868.

“We remind all forward auction applicants that they remain subject to the commission’s rules prohibiting certain communications relating to the incentive auction until either: with respect to communications with broadcasters, the completion of the incentive auction as announced by the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice; or, with respect to other forward auction applicants and related parties, until the winning bid down payment deadline. All forward auction applicants remain subject to the prohibition regardless of developments during the auction process and regardless of whether they qualified to bid or became winning bidders.”

For more TV Technology coverage, see our spectrum auction silo.