Status of the Current FCC Incentive Auction

The FCC Incentive Auction, currently in the final segment of Stage 4, may come to an end after the last round of “Forward Auction” bidding, which concluded on Wednesday, January 25. The “target” result of the Stage 4 “Reverse Auction” (where UHF TV stations have determined their desire to vacate the bands in the “Clearing Target” of 84 MHz, along with their costs of relocating or relinquishing their licenses), is $12,011,676,822, and the expected result of the “Forward Auction” (those bidding for the bandwidth) is $17,650,000,000. If the $5,000,000,000 “Profit” exceeds the FCC’s costs of the Auction and the remaining balance qualifies as an acceptable “profit” for the government, the auction will be over.

The “Clearing Target,” which was reduced to 84 MHz, will encompass the entire available UHF spectrum above UHF TV Channel 37 (reserved for Radio Astronomy) and below 698 MHz.

In terms of Lectrosonics ‘blocks,’ all of Block 23 and lower will have been spared, allowing Primary Licensees (TV stations), Secondary Licensees (Part 74 License holders and UHF repeaters) and unlicensed wireless microphone users access to the spectrum, in that order of priority. Note that in each market where a UHF TV station or stations have opted to relocate, they will be relocated below Channel 37, making the 6 MHz band for each relocated station unusable for wireless microphone use.

Jay Patterson CAS
Vice President, Local 695
Co-chair, Technical Trends Committee