Press Release

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2017 – With the results of today’s rounds of the forward auction, the bidding has satisfied the requirements of the incentive auction’s Final Stage Rule, meaning that the auction will successfully conclude in Stage 4. Bidding will continue in Stage 4 until there is no excess demand in any market and following the close of the clock auction, the Commission will conduct an assignment phase where winning wireless bidders may bid for specific blocks.

The following statement can be attributed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler:

“The word’s first spectrum incentive auction has delivered on its ambitious promise. Reaching the Final Stage Rule means the benefits of the auction are indisputable. We will repurpose 70 MHz of high-value, completely clear low-band spectrum for mobile broadband on a nationwide basis. On top of that, 14 MHz of new unlicensed spectrum – the test bed for wireless innovation – will be available for consumer devices and new services. The auction will provide $10.05 billion to broadcast television licensees who participated and billions towards deficit reduction.

“There is still a long road ahead to successfully implement the post-auction transition of broadcast stations to their new channels and bring the new wireless and unlicensed spectrum to market. This will be an extremely important task for my successor and the new Commission; I wish them well.

“Now that we are assured of a successful auction, however, it is appropriate to acknowledge and thank some of those who helped us get here; a list that begins with our staff. For more than four years, Gary Epstein, Chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force, has led a team of professionals more than 100 strong to assure that our actions were carefully coordinated and considered the public and stakeholder interests from all angles. The Task Force has worked tirelessly on this auction since 2012 and they have my deepest thanks.

“Congress made the incentive auction possible – both by passing the Spectrum Act in 2012 and through its continued guidance and oversight – thanks to the leadership of Representatives Upton, Waxman, Walden, Eshoo, and Pallone, and Senators Rockefeller, Thune, and Nelson. Committee staff, together with the staff of our federal agency partners, including NTIA and OMB, collaborated to draft a momentous piece of legislation designed to advance the goals of making more spectrum available for licensed and unlicensed use, funding an interoperable public safety network, and reducing the federal deficit.

“My predecessors as Chair, Julius Genachowski and Mignon Clyburn, set the process in motion for this auction as well as for the 2014 AWS-3 auction, together with fellow Commissioners Robert McDowell, Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly. Congratulations to all on a job well done.”

Press Release

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