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Auction 17

Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS)

DateAuction 17 began on
 and closed on
Round 128 (See PN DA 98-572)
Licenses986 licenses. 2 licenses in each of 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs)
SpectrumBlock A: 27,500-28,350 MHz; 29,100-29,250 MHz and 31,075-31,225 MHz Bands
Block B: 31,000-31,075 MHz and 31,225-31,300 MHz Bands
BandwidthBlock A - 1,150 MHz in 493 BTAs
Block B - 150 MHz in 493 BTAs
Winning Bidders104 bidders won 864 licenses
Bidding Days26
Qualified Bidders139
Licenses Won864
Licenses Held By FCC122
Net Revenues
Net Bids$578,663,029.00
Gross Bids$834,177,095.00
General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public Notices provide specific information regarding this auction. This fact sheet includes:

Key Dates

Pre-Auction Seminar
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
1/20/1998; 5:30 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
2/2/1998; 6:00 pm ET
Orders for Remote Bidding Software
2/2/1998; 5:30 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

A total of 986 LMDS licenses were offered in this auction. Two licenses (Frequency Blocks "A" with a bandwidth of 1,150 MHz and "B" with a bandwidth of 150 MHz), in each of 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs).

Permissible Operations

A local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) is capable of offering subscribers a variety of one and two-way broadband services, such as video programming distribution; video teleconferencing; wireless local loop telephony; and high speed data transmission, e.g. internet access. Because of its multi-purpose applications, LMDS has the potential to become a major competitor to local exchange and cable television services.
LMDS systems may consist of a multicell configuration distribution systems with return path capability within the assigned spectrum. Generally, each cell will contain a centrally located transmitter (hub), multiple receivers or transceivers, and point-to-point links interconnecting the cell with a central processing center and/or other cells.

License Period

Licenses are issued for a ten-year term from the initial license grant date. At the end of the 10 year period, licensees are required to submit an acceptable showing to the Commission demonstrating that they are providing "substantial service" to their service area. Licensees failing to demonstrate that they are providing substantial service will be subject to forfeiture of their licenses. See Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 FCC Rcd 12545 (1997) at 260-272.


Some BTAs have incumbent operations in the smaller 150 megahertz block, such as governmental licensees and private business users operating in the 31,000-31,075 and 31,225-31,300 MHz bands, and are entitled to protection against harmful interference from any LMDS operation in these blocks. See Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at 85-90..

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits are available to very small businesses, small businesses, and entrepreneurs (or consortia of very small businesses, small businesses, or entrepreneurs) as set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 101.1112. A bidding credit represents the amount by which a bidder’s winning bids are discounted. The size of the bidding credit depends on the average gross revenues for the preceding three years of the bidder and its controlling interests and affiliates: Bidding credits are not cumulative. A qualifying applicant receives either the 25 percent, a 35 percent, or 45 percent bidding credit, but not more than one of them.

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