FCC Unveils Opening Prices in Forward Auction

Bidding will start at two rounds per day with prices increasing 5% per round

The FCC has set up the initial bidding schedule for stage two of the forward auction and released the opening prices.

Stage two of the reverse auction ended Oct. 13 and forward auction bidders will have to pony up $56.5 billion in order for the spectrum incentive auction to close and broadcasters to be moved off.

Bidding will start Oct. 19 with two two-hour rounds at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. until further notice, with the FCC raising prices 5% per round until there is no more excess demand. By the end of the first stage of the forward auction, the FCC was raising prices at a 10%-per-round clip, but it has been reset. Bidders are bidding on 90 MHz of spectrum (nine paired blocks of 10 MHz) which is the 114 MHz clearing target reclaimed from broadcasters minus buffer "guard band "spectrum.

To check out the new FCC asking prices for the spectrum in the first round (bidders can't bid more than that per spectrum block until the FCC raises the "clock" price in the next round) click here.

For example in top market New York, the closing clock price per spectrum block at the end of stage one of the forward auction was $477,249,780. The opening clock price in stage two increases 5% to $501,113,000.

For a primer on how the forward auction works, click here.