The Incentive Auction Task Force (“Task Force”) and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice providing details on Stage 3 of the Incentive Auction.  Notably, the Notice announces a 108 MHz spectrum clearing target for Stage 3 and schedules reverse bidding to begin at 10:00 am on November 1.

Forward Auction Implications:   Under the clearing target of 108 MHz for Stage 3, 80 MHz, or 8 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum will be offered in the forward auction on a near-nationwide basis.  The generic license blocks offered in the forward auction under this band plan will consist of a total of 3,301 Category 1 blocks (zero to 15% impairment) and two Category 2 blocks (greater than 15% and up to 50 % impairment).  Approximately 99.9% of the blocks offered will be Category 1, and 99.9% of Category 1 blocks will be zero percent impaired.  Appendix A to the Public Notice indicates the types of blocks available in each PEA.

The Commission will release the initial bidding schedule for Stage 3 of the forward auction in the PRS on the next business day after Stage 3 of the reverse auction concludes.  Stage 3 bidding in the forward auction will begin no later than three days after that announcement is released.  Any bidder that is eligible to bid in Stage 3 of the forward auction can access the Forward Auction Bidding System beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on October 31st, 2016, using the same materials received prior to the start of Stage 1.

Starting in the Round 1 of Stage 3, each bidder must be active on at least 95 percent of its bidding eligibility to maintain its bidding eligibility for the next round.  Any changes to the activity requirement in subsequent rounds will be announced via the Forward Auction Bidding System.  In addition, five percent increments will be used to set clock prices for Round 1 of Stage 3 of the forward auction.

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