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FCC Sets Opening Bids for Purchase of TV Broadcast Licenses

U.S. telecom regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently disclosed the initial bid to acquire wireless spectrums from TV broadcaster. This will be the first part of the upcoming 600 MHz low-band spectrums auction scheduled to be held in early 2016.

The 600 MHz airwaves auction, popularly known as "Incentive Auction", was initially supposed to have taken place in 2014. However, the auction was postponed owing to the complexity faced in designing the auction rules and related legal issues.

The FCC's initial offering price is nearly $100 million for a TV station located in smaller markets and as high as $900 million for one located in large markets. The TV broadcasters need to submit an application by Dec 18 confirming their choice. Major TV broadcasters like CBS Corp. CBS and 21st Century Fox Inc. FOXA have already shown their interest to sell wireless spectrums.

The TV broadcasters can either relinquish their licenses and monetize their spectrum holding that are no longer used by them, or agree to move to a different frequency, by the end of Mar 2016. The regulator aims to begin the Incentive Auction process by Mar 29, 2016. The FCC had collected a substantial amount of almost $45 billion from the AWS-3 spectrum auction that was concluded in Jan 2015.

In the second part of the auction, the FCC will resell the acquired spectrums to wireless operators, other cable MSOs (multi service operators) or tech firms through competitive bidding. Notably, low-band spectrum is crucial for wireless operators as the signals can be transmitted over longer distances and through brick-and-mortar walls in cities.

The 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrums will be utilized by wireless operators to expand and strengthen their 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks. Major wireless operators such as, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ , AT&T Inc. T and T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS will participate in this auction.

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AT&T INC (T): Free Stock Analysis Report

CBS CORP (CBS): Free Stock Analysis Report

VERIZON COMM (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

TWENTY-FST CF-A (FOXA): Free Stock Analysis Report

T-MOBILE US INC (TMUS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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