The start of the new year has brought with it more news on the FCC’s 600MHz incentive auction.
The reverse part of the FCC’s auction finished recently, and the clearing cost was set at $10 billion for 84 MHz of spectrum. That’s considerably less than it was in the past three stages, which was $86.4 billion in Stage 1, $54.6 billion in Stage 2, and $40.3 billion for Stage 3.
Now that a clearing cost for Stage 4 has been set, we wait to see what the bidders in the forward auction (which includes T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon) will offer for the spectrum that’s available. The FCC expects bidding in the forward auction to begin on January 18.
In each of the previous stages of this auction, the bids put forward have been considerably less than the clearing costs, which is why we’ve seen those clearing costs drop so dramatically. Now that we’re all the way down to $10 billion, though, we could see the bidders meet that clearing cost and allow things to finally move forward after months of back and forth.