FCC Releases Incentive Auction Procedures Public Notice and Upcoming Auction Actions

In the August Open Meeting, the FCC approved a Public Notice on competitive bidding procedures for the Incentive Auction (FCC 15-78) (the “Public Notice”). This Public Notice outlines procedures for the reverse auction (“Auction 1001”) and the forward auction (“Auction 1002”), including final procedures for setting the initial spectrum clearing target, qualifying to bid, and bidding.

Bidding is scheduled to begin on March 29, 2016, and short-form applications are expected to be due from both reverse auction and forward auction participants in the fall of 2015. The prohibited communications period (under the “Anti-Collusion Rule”) will commence on the deadline for short-form applications and continue until the auction closing Public Notice is released.

In addition to the Public Notice, leaders of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force published a blog post outlining the anticipated timing of the next steps of the Incentive Auction.  Notably, the Post states that short-form applications to participate in both the reverse and forward auctions will be due “before the end of the year” – implying late November/early December as the deadline. This date will also trigger the Anti-Collusion Rule, and the prohibited communications period will commence on this filing deadline. This date will be announced in the upcoming Applications Procedures Public Notice.

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