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Auction 53

Multichannel Video Distribution & Data Service (MVDDS)

DateAuction 53 began on
 and closed on
Round 49. (See PN DA 04-215).
Spectrum12.2-12.7 GHz unpaired
Bandwidth500 MHz per license
Winning Bidders10 bidders won 192 licenses
Bidding Days9
Qualified Bidders14
Licenses Won192
Net Revenues
Net Bids$118,721,835.00
Gross Bids$136,936,200.00
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 Window Opens
10/29/2003; 12:00 noon ET
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
11/12/2003; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
12/8/2003; 6:00 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction No. 53 offered 214 licenses in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band (one license in each of 214 MVDDS Service Areas (MVDs)). Each license consisted of one 500 megahertz block of unpaired spectrum.

Permissible Operations

MVDDS licensees may use this spectrum for any digital fixed non-broadcast service (broadcast services are intended for reception of the general public and not on a subscribership basis) including one-way direct-to-home/office wireless service. Licensees are permitted to provide one-way video programming and data services on a non-common carrier and/or on a common carrier basis. Mobile and aeronautical services are not authorized. Two-way services may be provided by using other spectrum or media for the return or upstream path.

License Period and Construction Requirements

MVDDS licenses are issued for a ten-year term beginning on the date of the initial authorization grant. Licensees 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. § 101.1413).
Each MVDDS licensee must provide "substantial service" within five years of the initial authorization grant. The renewal application of an MVDDS licensee must include a coverage map and other supporting documents showing compliance with the respective construction requirements within the ten-year benchmark of the date of their initial license as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 101.1413(c).

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits were available to small businesses or consortia thereof, (as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(c) and 101.1429). 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 annual gross revenues for the preceding three years of the bidder, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests:
  1. A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues of more than $15 million but not more than $40 million for the preceding three years receives a 15 percent discount on its winning bids for MVDDS licenses
  2. A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues of more than $3 million but not more than $15 million for the preceding three years receives a 25 percent discount on its winning bids for MVDDS licenses
  3. A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues of not more than $3 million for the preceding three years receives a 35 percent discount on its winning bids for MVDDS licenses
Bidding credits are not cumulative; qualifying applicants receive the 15 percent, 25 percent or the 35 percent bidding credit, but only one.

Tribal Land Credits

A winning bidder that intends to use its license(s) to deploy facilities and provide services to federally-recognized tribal lands that are unserved by any telecommunications carrier or that have a telephone service penetration rate equal to or below 70 percent is eligible to receive a tribal land bidding credit as set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 1.2107 and 1.2110(f). A tribal land bidding credit is in addition to, and separate from, any other bidding credit for which a winning bidder may qualify.
Unlike other bidding credits that are requested prior to the auction, a winning bidder applies for the tribal land bidding credit after winning the auction when it files its long-form application (FCC Form 601). In order for a winning bidder to be awarded a tribal land bidding credit, it must provide specific certifications regarding the servicing of tribal lands and is subject to specific performance criteria as set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(f).
Additional information on the tribal land bidding credit, including how the amount of the credit is calculated, can be found on the Commission’s web site by going to Tribal Land Credits.

Point-to-Point Incumbents

Terrestrial private operational fixed point-to-point stations in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band which were licensed prior to MVDDS are incumbent point-to-point stations. However, only those stations licensed as public safety must be protected from harmful interference caused by later MVDDS entrants in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. MVDDS operators have the responsibility of resolving any harmful interference problems that their operations may cause to these public safety incumbent point-to-point operations in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band.

Frequency Coordination Rules

The MVDDS operator must comply strictly with all of the requirements set forth in 47 C.F.R. §§ 101.103(f) and 101.1440. Among other things, the MVDDS licensee shall, prior to the construction or addition of an MVDDS transmitting antenna, provide notice of intent to construct the proposed antenna site to NGSO FSS licensees operating in the 12.2-12.7 GHz frequency band and maintain an Internet web site of all existing transmitting sites and transmitting antennas that are scheduled for operation within one year including the "in service" dates. At least 90 days prior to the planned date of commencement of MVDDS operations, the MVDDS licensee shall provide relevant information to Direct Broadcast Satellite ("DBS") licensee(s), including the geographic location of its proposed station license, the maximum EIRP of each transmitting antenna and the description of the proposed service area. In addition, the MVDDS operator must make a determination of whether its signal level(s) will exceed the EPFD limit at any DBS customer of record sites. To assist in making this determination, the MVDDS provider can use the EPFD contour model developed by the Commission and described in Appendix J of Amendment of Parts 2 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Operation of NGSO FSS Systems Co-Frequency with GSO and Terrestrial Systems in the Ku-Band Frequency Range, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 9614 (2002) or on the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology website et98-206.

Licensing Rules

  1. Licensed by Designated Market Areas (DMAs).
  2. MVDDS shall be licensed on a non-harmful interference co-primary basis to existing DBS operations and on a co-primary basis with NGSO FSS stations in this band.
  3. MVDDS systems may not cause harmful interference to stations in Canada or Mexico. No stations are allowed within 5 miles of the borders. (See 47 C.F.R. § 101.1423).
  4. MVDDS stations must protect the radio quiet zones. (See 47 C.F.R. § 1.924).
  5. Cable operators or entities holding an attributable interest in a cable operator shall not have an attributable interest in an MVDDS license whose geographic service area significantly overlaps such cable operator’s service area. (See 47 C.F.R. § 101.1412).
  6. No spectrum or channel aggregation cap.
  7. Partitioning is permitted by MVDDS licensees. Disaggregation will not be permitted. (See 47 C.F.R. § 101.1415).

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