FCC’s 28 GHz auction suspended due to weather

FCC 28 GHz spectrum auction map ( Stephen Wilkus / Spectrum Financial Partners)
The FCC has suspended the 28 GHz spectrum for a day due to heavy snowfall in Washington, D.C. (Stephen Wilkus/Spectrum Financial Partners)

Heavy snowfall in the nation’s capital has prompted the FCC to suspend the 28 GHz spectrum auction. The agency plans to resume activities on Jan. 15 with six rounds of bidding.

The next phase of bidding, stage three, requires bidders to bid on 100% of the licenses they are eligible to bid on and should speed the conclusion of the auction, which began on Nov. 14, 2018. While the FCC has suspended most of its operations since Jan. 3 due to the partial government shutdown, the spectrum auction has continued without interruption because staffers that manage the auction are paid out of auction proceeds.

Through 126 rounds of bidding, provisionally winning bids have reached a combined total of $695,042,800. The total amount bid in Auction 101 has waned with each subsequent round of bidding, and the auction will come to a close when no new bids are placed.

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The FCC has a busy calendar of spectrum auctions for 2019. Following the close of the 28 GHz spectrum auction, the agency will begin an auction of 24 GHz spectrum. At least three additional spectrum auctions are scheduled to take place later this year.

RELATED: 28 GHz auction to resume as planned despite budget impasse

The latest round of activity, round 126, only generated two new provisionally winning bids for licenses covering Mercer, North Dakota, and Reeves, Texas. The highest provisionally winning bids to date go to a pair of licenses covering Dane, Wisconsin, for $12,523,000 and $11,418,000. Licenses covering Honolulu have also reached $10,272,000 and $10,063,000. More than 100 licenses are currently being held with provisionally winning bids under $500. Auction activity is scheduled to resume on Jan. 15.

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