FCC Requests Comments on CBRS Bidding Procedures, Sets Bidding Start Date
Friday, September 27, 2019 | Comments

The FCC is seeking comment on proposed application and bidding procedures for the auction of the priority access licenses (PAL) in the 3.55 – 3.65 GHz band. The commission also scheduled the auction on the Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to begin on June 25.

The 3.5 GHz band holds the potential to be prime spectrum for 5G services, and the commission plans to auction PALs to increase innovation and investment in the band.

The FCC proposed offering seven PALs in each county-based license area, for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide. Each PAL will consist of 10-megahertz unpaired channels assigned by automated frequency coordinators, known as spectrum access systems (SAS). Consistent with FCC rules, priority access licensees would be permitted to aggregate up to four PALs in any license area.

The FCC seeks comment on the following proposals:
• Using an ascending clock auction format in which bidders indicate their demand for generic license blocks in specific counties
• Offering bidders the option to bid at a cellular market area (CMA) level in the 172 areas that are classified as metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) and comprise multiple counties
• Incorporating an activity upper limit that would allow bidders to submit bids that exceed their current bidding eligibility to help mitigate the possibility of losing bidder eligibility under certain circumstances

The public notice also proposes rules for bidding credit caps, upfront payments, bidding eligibility, minimum opening bids, bid removal and withdrawal and other auction procedures.

The action taken today is another step toward implementing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s 5G FAST plan, which is critical to securing American leadership in 5G and boosting economic growth, job creation and America’s global competitiveness.

The docket number for the proceeding is No. 19-244.

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