FCC Targets Jan. 18 for Forward Auction Re-Start

Will start stage 4 one business day after close of reverse stage

The Incentive Auction Task Force says that it anticipates launching the next stage (stage 4) of the forward portion of the incentive auction, which is wireless companies and others bidding on spectrum freed up by broadcasters.

Stage 4 of the reverse auction ends Jan. 13, so the FCC is wasting no time proceeding—Monday, Jan. 16, is a federal holiday, so essentially that will mean the forward auction will restart the on the second business day following the reverse auction close.

So far, broadcasters and wireless companies have been far apart in price, with forward auction bidders failing to move off their stage 1 price of a little over $20 billion even as broadcasters continued to drop their price from an initial $86 billion to the stage 3 price of $40.3 billion.