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Auction 20

VHF Public Coast

DateAuction 20 began on
 and closed on
Round 44 (See PN DA 98-2542)
42 licenses, 1 license in each of the 42 VHF Public Coast Station Areas (VPCs) (pdf)
156 - 162 MHz Band
50 kHz license (2 x 25 kHz blocks) in each of 42 VPCs
Winning Bidders4 bidders won 26 licenses (3 small business bidders won 17 licenses which were all Inland VPCs 1 other bidder won 9 Maritime Border and Maritime Non-Border VPCs
Bidding Days8
Qualified Bidders8
Licenses Won26
Licenses Held By FCC16
Net Revenues
Net Bids$7,459,200.00
Gross Bids$7,812,000.00
Withdrawal Payments ($26,552.00)
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
11/2/1998; 5:30 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline (Wire Transfer)
11/16/1998; 6:00 pm ET
Orders for Remote Bidding Software
11/17/1997; 5:30 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

A total of 42 licenses were included in this auction. VHF Public Coast Station Areas (VPCs) was the geographic method used to assign licenses. There were a total of 42 station areas consisting of 9 maritime VPCs and 33 inland VPCs. A single license of 350, 450 or 500 KHz was offered in each of the 42 VPCs. Each license consisted of channel pairs and the license size varied based upon public safety set-aside requirements and availability of channel 88 for maritime use.
Channel 88 is only available within 75 miles of the Canadian border (requires prior Canadian coordination) and is not available throughout remainder of the United States due to its allocation as a government channel.

Frequencies Offered

Working Carrier Frequency Pairs in the 156-162 MHz Band as set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 80.371(c)
Carrier frequency (MHz)
Channel designator Ship transmit Coast transmit
84157.225 161.825
27157.350 161.950
28157.400 162.000
There is a specified pre-determined two channel pair public safety set-aside requirement [50 KHz each] for each inland VPC, as outlined in 47 C.F.R. § 80.371(c)(1)(B)and illustrated in the . See also Amendment of the Commission's Rules Concerning Maritime Communications, Third Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order , FCC 98-151, Appendix E(rel. July 9, 1998).
Maritime VPCs have a two offset (narrowband) channel pair public safety requirement,[25 KHz each], however, not specified or pre-determined, must be coordinated with the United States Coast Guard post auction. See Amendment of the Commission's Rules Concerning Maritime Communications, Third Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 98-151, paragraph 48-49 (rel. July 9, 1998).
See also 47 C.F.R. § 80.371 (c)(3).
License Types
There were four types of licenses based upon the public safety set-aside and/or availability of channel 88 for maritime use. Maritime Border 500 KHz Maritime Non Border 450 KHz Inland Border 350 KHz * Inland Non Border 350 KHz
* On September 21, 1998, An Erratum to Public Notice, DA 98-1796 was issued changing the kHz.

Permissible Operations

VHF Public Coast licensees may provide fixed, mobile, or hybrid voice or data communications. Service may be provided to units on land, provided that priority is given to marine originating communications.

License Period

Licenses are issued for a ten-year term from the initial license grant date. Licenses have a renewal expectancy based on the provision of substantial service and substantial compliance with applicable Commission rules, policies, and the Communications Act. (See 47 C.F.R. § 80.25).

Bidding Credits

A bidding credit acts as a discount on the winning bid amount that a bidder actually has to pay for the license. The size of the bidding credit depends on the annual gross revenues of the bidder, together with its affiliates and controlling interests, as averaged over the preceding three years. These bidding credits are not cumulative.

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