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Auction 39

VHF Public Coast and Location and Monitoring Services

DateAuction 39 began on
 and closed on
Round 34. (See PN DA 01-1443)
16 Inland VHF Public Coast Area (VPC) licenses
241 LMS multilateration licenses
Refer to the Public Coast Station Areas (VPCs) Map (pdf) and LMS Economic Areas (EA) Map (pdf).
VHF Public Coast:
156 - 162 MHz Band (see Bandplan VHF Public Coast for further details)
Block A: 904.000-909.750 MHz and 927.750-928.000 MHz
Block B: 919.750-921.750 MHz and 927.500-927.750 MHz
Block C: 921.750-927.250 MHz and 927.250-927.500 MHz
VHF Public Coast:
50 KHz licenses (2 x 25 KHz blocks)

Block A: MHz - maximum 6.000 MHz
Block B: MHz - maximum 2.250 MHz
Block C: MHz - maximum 5.750 MHz
Winning Bidders7 bidders won 217 licenses (201 LMS licenses and 16 Public Coast Licenses)
Bidding Days6
Qualified Bidders7
Licenses Won217
Net Revenues
Net Bids$1,144,755.00
Gross Bids$1,707,100.00

Key Dates

Pre-Auction Seminar
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
5/4/2001; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
5/18/2001; 6:00 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction No. 39 was the second auction each for VHF Public Coast and LMS spectrum. The initial VHF Public Coast licenses were awarded in Auction No. 20, which ended on December 14, 1998. The initial LMS licenses were awarded in Auction No. 21, which ended on March 5, 1999. The specifics of Auction No. 39 were announced by public notice.
Auction No. 39 consisted of licenses that remained unsold in Auctions Nos. 20 and No. 21 and are as follows:
VHF Public Coast
Sixteen licenses were available in geographic areas known as VHF Public Coast Areas (VPCs). There are two categories of VPCs: maritime VPCs and inland VPCs. All of the VHF Public Coast licenses offered in Auction No. 39 are inland VPC licenses. Inland VPCs are identical to the Commerce Department’s Economic Areas, no part of which is within 100 miles of a major waterway. Each VPC license has seven 25 kHz channel pairs, adding up to 350 kHz.
Inland VPCs Channel Pairs (total kHz available)
Inland Border VPCs
VPCs 10, 1124, 26, 27, 28, 85, 86, 87 (350 kHz)
Inland Non-Border VPCs
VPCs 12-15, 23, 26, 3824, 26, 27, 28, 85, 86, 87 (350 kHz)
VPCs 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 40 24, 26, 27, 28, 84, 86, 87 (350 kHz)
Three blocks of spectrum are allocated for LMS systems:
  1. Block A
    904.000 - 909.750 MHz and 927.750 – 928.000 MHz
  2. Block B
    919.750 - 921.750 MHz and 927.500 – 927.750 MHz
  3. Block C
    921.750 - 927.250 MHz and 927.250 – 927.500 MHz
LMS spectrum is licensed in 176 Economic Areas (EAs) and comprised of each of these spectrum blocks. However, 289 licenses were sold in the previous auction therefore, licenses were not available for each block in every market. In Auction No. 39, there were 241 LMS licenses available: 117 licenses were auctioned in Block A, 61 licenses were auctioned in Block B, and 63 licenses were auctioned in Block C.
A complete listing of licenses for Auction No. 39 is provided in Attachment A of .

Permissible Operations

VHF Public Coast
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.

Multilateration LMS systems utilize non-voice radio techniques to determine the location and status of mobile radio units. Multilateration LMS systems are authorized to transmit status and instructional messages, either voice or non-voice, so long as they are related to the location or monitoring functions of the system

License Period

VHF Public Coast
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. section 80.25)..

Licenses are issued for a ten-year term from the initial license grant date. Licenses are required to construct and place in operation a sufficient number of base stations utilizing multilateration technology to provide multilateration location and monitoring service to one-third of the license areas population within five years of initial license grant and two-thirds of the population within 10 years.

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits are available to small and very small businesses, or consortia thereof, as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 80.1252(b)(1)(2) and (5) for VHF Public Coast and 47 C.F.R. § 90.1103(b)(1)(2) for LMS. 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 or 35 percent bidding credit, but not both.

Tribal Land Bidding Credit

To encourage the growth of wireless services in federally recognized tribal lands the Commission has implemented a tribal land bidding credit.
For additional information on the tribal land bidding credit, including how the amount of the credit is calculated, see Extending Wireless Telecommunications Services to Tribal Lands, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, WT Docket No. 99-266 released June 30, 2000; Public Notice DA 00-2219, released September 28, 2000, entitled Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Availability of Bidding Credits For Providing Wireless Services to Qualifying Tribal Lands; Public Notice DA 00-2836, released December 14, 2000, entitled Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Additional Information Regarding the Procedures for Obtaining a Tribal Lands Bidding Credit and List of Tribal Lands; Public Notice DA 01-613, released March 8, 2001, entitled Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Enhancements to the Universal Licensing System to Help Winning Bidders of FCC Auctions File for Tribal Land Bidding Credits and http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/auctions and click on Information on Tribal Land Bidding Credits.


VHF Public Coast
There are a number of incumbent VHF Public Coast Station licensees and Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) licensees already operating in the 156-162 MHz band..

LMS operates in the 902-928 MHz frequency band. The band is allocated for primary use by Federal Government radiolocation systems. Next in order of priority are Industrial, Scientific, and Medical devices. Federal Government fixed and mobile and LMS systems are secondary to both of these uses. The remaining uses of the 902-928 MHz band include licensed Amateur radio operations and unlicensed Part 15 equipment, both of which are secondary to all other uses of the band.

Licensing Rules

VHF Public Coast
  1. There are no eligibility restrictions
  2. The availability of channel pairs throughout inland border VPCs may be affected by agreements between the United States and Canada regarding the assignment and use of VHF frequencies near the U.S.-Canadian border. See 47 C.F.R. § 80.57, 80.371 (c).
  3. Incumbent licensees are present in the band.
  4. VHF Public Coast licenses available for Auction No. 39 consist of Inland VPCs.
  5. Partitioning and/or disaggregation is permitted.
  1. There are no eligibility restrictions.
  2. In any one market, LMS licensees may not hold the A block, or sub-band license in combination with the license for B or C block, but may hold licenses for B block and C block in combination. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.353(d) and (f).
  3. Incumbent licensees are present in the band.
  4. LMS spectrum is licensed by Economic Areas (EAs).
  5. Partitioning and/or disaggregation is permitted.

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