By all accounts, it appears as if the FCC is thrusting the Forward Auction’s gear shift into overdrive as it seeks to wrap up bidding and shift to the next step — the assignment portion of the Spectrum Auction.
“It’s accelerating toward that,” notes Stephan Sloan, a Director at Media Services Group who has emerged as an expert on the auction.
Late Friday (2/3), the FCC announced that starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern — and until further notice — the Forward Auction bidding schedule will increase to six rounds per day.
Thus, Round 42 will be the first 40-minute bidding round in the Forward Auction.
Additional 40-minute bidding rounds will be seen each business day at 11 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time.
That’s not to say the Commission may make subsequent schedule changes based on its monitoring of the bidding and assessment of the auction’s progress.
If so, it will provide notice of any such change by announcement in the Auction System and the Public Reporting System (PRS).
Auction proceeds as of Round 33 are exactly $19,327,314,729. Asked to comment on whether or not this means the Spectrum Auction was, therefore, a success, Sloan said yes — with a caveat.
“It’s a success, but that was baked in from the start,” he believes.