In a public notice released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency began the third stage of the reverse spectrum auction on November 1. Bidding started with one, four-hour round on November 1 and will increase to two, two-hour rounds November 2 – 5, then increase again to three, one-hour rounds from November 7 until further notice.
The FCC said the new clearing target of 108 MHz for broadcasters will yield 80 MHz – or 8 paired blocks – of licensed spectrum for wireless use. The new clearing target marks a dip from the FCC’s goal of 126 MHz of spectrum in Stage One of the auction. That figure was subsequently reduced to 114 MHz in Stage Two of the auction after forward auction bidders failed to reach the $86.4 billion price target set by broadcasters in Stage One’s reverse portion. The forward auction bids fell short again in the second stage which ended after just one round. Stage Two bidders were up against a $54.6 billion price target, but the net proceeds reached only around $21 billion.