Here’s How To Prepare For FCC Auction’s Next Step


The FCC has received “several questions” regarding the assignment phase, and it’s responded by providing detailed information related to assignment phase timing and bidder education as Stage 4 of the Forward Auction resumes with Round 12 at 10 a.m. Friday (1/27).

All bidders with winnings from the clock phase are eligible to participate in the assignment phase.

Within a few business days after the end of the clock phase, the FCC expects to release a public notice announcing when bidding in the assignment phase will begin. It will also provide information on assignment phase bidder education materials. The bidder education materials include an online tutorial and an assignment phase bidding system user guide.

The tutorial, which will be similar to the one the FCC provided for the clock phase, reviews the procedures related to the assignment phase and provides examples of system calculations — as well as an overview of the bidding system. The user guide allows bidders to begin familiarizing themselves with the functionality of the assignment phase bidding system, which differs from the one used for the clock phase.


Approximately a week after the bidder education materials become available online, the FCC will provide a short preview period for bidders to log in to the system, view the full schedule of assignment rounds, and download their bidding options. After the preview period, the FCC will provide bidders an opportunity to get familiar with bidding in the assignment phase by participating in a practice auction, followed by a mock auction.

Details about how the practice and mock auctions will be set up and when they will occur will be provided in the public notice set for release by the FCC after the clock phase concludes.

Once the practice and mock auctions are complete, the FCC will begin the actual bidding in the assignment phase.

“We anticipate that bidding will take several weeks, given the number of PEAs that must be assigned,” the FCC says.


Starting Monday (1/30) and until further notice the bidding schedule will increase from twin two-hour bidding sessions per day to four hour-long rounds, at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

The FCC, of course, may make subsequent schedule changes based upon its monitoring of the bidding and assessment of the auction’s progress.

“We will provide notice of any such change by announcement in the Auction System and the Public Reporting System (PRS),” it says. “Bidders logged in to the Auction System can check the schedule of upcoming rounds at any time by clicking on the Auction Schedule link in the navigation bar.”

The schedule is also displayed in the PRS.

Bidders must ensure that they submit their bids before the end of each round. If a bidder fails to submit a bid for a product for which it has processed demand, the auction system will consider that to be a missing bid. A missing bid will be treated as a request to reduce demand to zero. If that bid is applied partially or in full, the bidder’s eligibility may be irrevocably reduced.

Bidders should have firm back-up arrangements (which may include calling the Auction Bidder Line) ready for immediate implementation in case they encounter any difficulties accessing the Auction System, the FCC says.