FCC's Spectrum Auction Moves to Round 19

Bidders still one-upping in smaller markets

It was on to round 19 for the FCC's spectrum auction as bidders in round 18 of stage four of the forward auction continued to vie for spectrum blocks in smaller markets, pushing the total to $18,694,030,387, up about $23 million over round 17's $18,670,477,387.

The auction has already met its two key clearing targets, and broadcasters already know how much they are getting: about $10 billion.

But the auction can't close until there is no more bidding in any of the 416 markets. Among the markets where bidding continued in round 18 were Albuquerque, N.M., and Reno, Nev.

On Wednesday, the FCC is increasing its asking price for each round to 10% above the previous price—it has been increasing it by 5%.

The forward auction is a clock auction in which the FCC raises the price in each round until demand does not exceed supply in each round. At that point the auction will close and a second auction will be held among winning bidders to assign specific frequencies.