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Auction 86

Broadband Radio Service

DateAuction 86 began on
 and closed on
(See Auction 86 Procedures Public Notice DA 09-1376)
78 licenses: 75 licenses covering various Basic Trading Areas (BTAs), including one partial BTA, and 3 licenses covering BRS service areas in the Gulf of Mexico
Frequency Bands (and Bandwidth)
2496-2502, 2602-2615, and 2616-2673.5 MHz (76.5 MHz)
Winning Bidders10
Qualified Bidders16
Licenses Won61
Licenses Held By FCC17
Net Bids$19,426,600
Gross Bids$20,701,000
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
8/5/2009; 12:00 noon ET
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
8/18/2009; prior to 6:00 p.m. ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
9/24/2009; 6:00 p.m. ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

The Broadband Radio Service (BRS) licenses to be offered in Auction 86 consist of the available spectrum in 78 BRS service areas. The maximum amount of spectrum that may be available in a given BRS area is 76.5 megahertz. See BRS band plan (pdf). This maximum is not available in all service areas due to the existence of incumbent site-based licensees in the 2496-2690 MHz band. BRS service areas are BTAs or additional service areas similar to BTAs adopted by the Commission. Overlay licenses for 75 of the BTAs originally offered in Auction 6 are available now as a result of default, cancellation, or termination. In one case the available license does not cover the entire BTA due to a previous partitioning. Underlying, pre-existing incumbent BRS licenses within these geographic areas remain intact. This auction will also include three additional licenses for BRS service areas in the Gulf of Mexico. A complete list of licenses available for Auction 86 is included as Attachment A of the Auction 86 Comment Public Notice DA 09-843, released April 24, 2009.

Permissible Operations

BRS is a flexible use service that can be used to accommodate a variety of fixed, portable, and mobile services, including high-speed broadband services (such as internet access), video programming, and cellularized communication services. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.2(a).

License Period and Construction Requirements

Licenses will be issued for a term not to exceed ten years from the date of original issuance. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.13.
All BRS licensees must make a showing of “substantial service” in their licensed area no later than May 1, 2011. Failure by any licensee to meet the requirement will result in forfeiture of the license and the licensee will be ineligible to regain it. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.14(o).

Small Business Bidding Credits

Qualifying applicants in Auction 86 are eligible for an entrepreneur, small, or very small business bidding credit. 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 applicant, its affiliates, its controlling interests, the affiliates of its controlling interest, and any entities with which the applicant has an attributable material interest, as defined by the Commission’s rules:
See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2110(f)(2) and 27.1218. Bidding credits are not cumulative. A qualifying applicant may claim either a 15 percent, 25 percent, or 35 percent bidding credit on its winning bids.

Tribal Land Bidding Credit

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 wireline penetration rate equal to or below 85 percent may be eligible to receive a tribal land bidding credit. A tribal land bidding credit is in addition to, and separate from, any other bidding credit for which a winning bidder may qualify. A winning bidder need not qualify for a small business bidding credit to be eligible for a tribal land bidding credit. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2107 and 1.2110(f).


Existing BRS licenses in these bands are of two types:
Incumbent licenses – The service area for these licenses is a 35-mile circle centered at the station’s reference coordinates, and is bounded by the chord(s) drawn between the intersection points of the licensee’s previous protected service area and those of respective adjacent market, co-channel licensees. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.1206(a)(1). Any licenses granted pursuant to this auction will not include the geographic service areas of any such overlapping, co-channel incumbent licenses. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.1206(a)(2). If an incumbent license cancels or is forfeited, however, the right to operate within that area shall revert to the overlay licensee that holds the license for the BRS service area that encompasses that BTA. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.1206(a)(3).
Previously-awarded geographic area licenses – BRS licenses have previously been awarded through auction (Auction 6) for BTAs other than those in this auction, and the previously-awarded licenses may have since been assigned or partitioned. Such BRS geographic area licenses authorize operation within a BTA and provide the licensee with rights similar to those being offered in Auction 86.
Incumbent and geographic area BRS licenses are entitled to interference protection in accordance with the applicable technical rules. See 47 C.F.R.§§ 27.50-27.66, 27.1221.
Additionally, on the E and F channel groups, grandfathered Educational Broadband Service (“EBS”) licenses originally issued on those channels prior to 1983 may continue to operate indefinitely. Such grandfathered EBS licenses must be protected in accordance with the applicable technical rules. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.1215.
Operations within the 2614-2618 MHz band are secondary to adjacent channel operations. See 47 C.F.R. § 27.1222.
In the 2496-2500 MHz band, BRS licensees must share the band on a co-primary basis with code division multiple access Mobile Satellite Service operators, grandfathered Broadcast Auxiliary Service stations, and grandfathered land mobile and microwave licenses licensed under Parts 90 and 101 of the Commission’s rules, respectively. In addition, the 2400-2500 MHz band is allocated for use by Industrial, Scientific, and Medical equipment under Part 18 of the Commission’s rules.

Licensing Rules

47 C.F.R. Parts 1 and 27.

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