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About Auctions

Pre-Auction Timeline

  1. Comment Public Notice
    (Approximately 4-6 months prior to auction)
    A public notice is released in accordance with the requirements of the Budget Act of 1997, seeking comment on auction procedures such as activity rules, upfront payment amounts, minimum opening bids and/or reserve prices.

  2. Procedures Public Notice
    (Approximately 3-5 months prior to auction)
    A public notice is released providing potential participants with the procedures, terms, and conditions for the auction event.

  3. Seminar
    (Approximately 60-75 days prior to auction)
    A free pre-auction seminar is conducted for potential participants to introduce them to the auction rules and process. The bidding software is demonstrated and participants have the opportunity to get questions answered.

  4. Short-Form (FCC Form 175) Application Filing Deadline
    (Approximately 45-60 days prior to auction)
    This is the first deadline faced by potential participants. The Form 175 application, which must be filed electronically, collects basic information, including the applicant's ownership structure and the licenses on which it wants to be able to bid during the auction. If an individual or company does not submit its short-form application by the established deadline, it will not be able to participate in the auction.

  5. Short Form Application Status Public Notice
    (Approximately 30-40 days prior to auction)
    After the deadline for filing, staff reviews all timely-filed short-form applications and deems them accepted, incomplete, or rejected. This public notice announces the status of the applications.

    The FCC sends the public notice to each applicant in an overnight package. For applicants whose filings have been deemed incomplete, a letter is included that explains the reasons for the "incomplete" designation. This letter also includes the name of an FCC contact person, in case the applicant requires further explanation.

  6. Upfront Payment Deadline
    (Approximately 3-4 weeks prior to auction)
    Potential bidders must submit a refundable deposit that is used to purchase the eligibility (bidding units) required to place bids in the auction.

  7. Short-Form Application Resubmission Deadline
    (Approximately 3-4 weeks prior to auction)
    Form 175 applications that were deemed "incomplete" must be refiled by this deadline, which often coincides with the upfront payment deadline.

  8. Qualified Bidders Public Notice
    (Approximately 10-14 days prior to auction)
    This public notice lists the bidders qualified to participate in the auction, each bidder's FCC Registration Number, its bidding unit eligibility, and a list of the licenses selected on its FCC Form 175. The public notice also contains information about the mock auction, the bidding schedule for the first day of the auction, and other auction-specific details. The FCC sends this public notice to each applicant in an overnight package along with registration materials as listed below.

  9. Qualified Bidders Registration
    (Approximately 7 days prior to auction)
    Immediately following the release of the Qualified Bidders Public Notice, the bidder registration process begins. Two overnight mailings are sent to the contact person identified on the short-form application. These mailings include the Qualified Bidders Public Notice, RSA SecurID cards for logging into the Integrated Spectrum Auction System (ISAS), the Auction Bidder Line phone number, and other materials needed to participate in the auction.

  10. Mock Auction
    (Approximately 2-5 days prior to auction)
    To ensure bidders understand the auction process, the FCC conducts a mock auction as a service to the qualified bidders. The mock auction allows bidders to familiarize themselves with the bidding process and become comfortable with the rules and conduct of the auction.

  11. Auction Begins

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Last reviewed/updated on
8/9/2006