On June 5, 2019, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) and the Office of Economics and Analytics (“OEA”) released a Public Notice (“Notice”) in preparation for Auction 103, providing information for incumbent 39 GHz licenses making Initial Commitments and setting forth the timeline for the remaining steps in the reconfiguration process (GN Docket No. 14-177, AU Docket No. 19-59). As a reminder, bidding for new licenses in Auction 103 is scheduled to begin December 10, 2019.
As outlined below, each incumbent making an Initial Commitment for existing holdings may either: 1) accept modified licenses based on the proposed reconfigured holdings, listed in Attachment 1; 2) accept modified licenses based on an acceptable alternative reconfiguration submitted by the incumbent that is consistent with FCC requirements; or 3) relinquish spectrum usage rights under all its 39 GHz licenses in exchange for an incentive payment and eligibility to bid on new licenses. The Notice outlines the procedures for each of the three options, and interested incumbents are encouraged to review this section carefully.
The Notice also outlines the following timeline for the reconfiguration process:
- Incumbent Short Form Application(FCC Form 175-A) Instructions and Tutorial Available – June 12, 2019.
- Form 175-A Filing Window Opens – July 9, 2019, 12:00 noon ET.
- Form 175-A Filing Window Closes – July 15, 2019, 6:00 pm ET.
- Initial Commitment System User Guide and Tutorial Available – July 11, 2019.
- Secure Tokens for Accessing Initial Commitment System Sent – By August 6, 2019.
- Initial Commitment Filing Window Opens – August 13, 2019, 12:00 noon ET.
- Initial Commitment Filing Window Closes – August 15, 2019, 6:00 pm ET.
- Public Notice Announcing Spectrum Blocks Available in Auction 103 – August 23, 2019.
The Commission’s anti-collusion rules will apply to “covered incumbents” (i.e., applicants listed on Form 175-A and any listed licensees) from the short-form application deadline until the post-auction deadline for down payments on new licenses in Auction 103. The rule’s prohibition regarding communications between applicants and nationwide providers applies regardless of whether those nationwide providers are applicants in the auction. Information on all covered incumbents will be available to the public.
The remainder of the relevant dates and deadlines for Auction 103 will be announced in future public notices.
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