Mobility Fund Phase I
|Date||Auction 901 began on
9/27/2012 and closed on
|Eligible Geographic Areas||
14,245 areas: 6,099 Census Tract-level aggregations of eligible Census Blocks, and 8,146 individual Census Blocks in Alaska (Total of 419,580 eligible Census Blocks)
General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public notices provide specific information regarding this auction. This fact sheet includes:
|Reply Comments Due||
|Auction Tutorial Available (via Internet)||
|FCC Form 180 (Short Form) Application Filing Window Opens||
6/27/2012; 12:00 noon ET
|FCC Form 180 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline||
7/11/2012; 6:00 p.m. ET
Universal Service Support Offered
The Mobility Fund Phase I Auction (Auction 901) will offer up to $300 million in one-time support to carriers that commit to provide advanced mobile voice and broadband services in areas where such services are currently unavailable. Winning bidders will have to deploy third generation (often called “advanced” or “3G”) service within two years or fourth-generation (“4G”) service within three years of the award of support.
This will be the first auction to offer high-cost universal service support through competitive bidding. Using a reverse auction format, bidders will identify a per-road mile support price at which they are willing to meet our requirements to cover the qualifying road miles in a given area. Support will be awarded based on the lowest bid amounts submitted, to at most one provider in a given area. Thus, bidders will compete not only against other carriers that may be bidding for support in the same areas, but against carriers bidding for support in other areas nationwide. Support will be awarded equal to the per-road mile bid rate multiplied by the number of qualifying road miles that the winning bidder actually covers within the required timeframe.
Areas Eligible for Support
Geographic areas currently without 3G or better services, and eligible for Mobility Fund Phase I support, were determined on a census block basis using 2010 Census data, January 2012 American Roamer (now Mosaik Solutions) data, and information submitted by third parties. Eligible census blocks were aggregated to the census tract level for bidding, except in Alaska, where bids may be placed for individual census blocks. In tracts that contain some eligible blocks that are in a Tribal land and other eligible blocks that are not in a Tribal land, the eligible census blocks were aggregated separately for Tribal blocks and non-Tribal blocks. Bidders may bid on multiple areas and be awarded support for any or all of them.
For more information on the eligible census blocks in Auction 901, see the “Attachment A Files
Applicant Requirements for Participation
Each applicant should consult the applicable Commission rules and public notices concerning Auction 901 to ensure that, in addition to meeting the requirements listed below, it can certify that it is legally, technically, and financially qualified to participate in the auction and will be able to meet the public interest obligations associated with Mobility Fund Phase I support.
- Must certify that it has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) in any geographic area for which it will seek support, or that it is a Tribally-owned or controlled entity with a pending application for ETC designation in its Tribal lands for which it will seek support.
- Must provide a description of its required spectrum access and certify that the description is accurate and that the applicant will retain such access for at least five years from the date on which it is authorized to receive support. In general, an applicant that holds a license or lease for the required timeframe will meet this requirement.
- Be financially and technically capable of providing 3G or better service in the geographic areas for which it seeks support.
- Cannot seek support for any areas in which it has made a public commitment to deploy 3G or better wireless service by December 31, 2012. This restriction does not prevent another applicant from seeking and receiving support for an eligible geographic area where another provider has announced such a commitment.
Submission of a false certification to the Commission may result in penalties, including monetary forfeitures, the forfeiture of universal service support, license forfeitures, ineligibility to participate in future auctions, and/or criminal prosecution.
Bidding Credit for Tribal Entities
A 25 percent bidding credit is available for any Tribally-owned or controlled provider seeking Mobility Fund Phase I support on its Tribal lands. The credit is available with respect to the eligible census blocks located within the geographic area defined by the boundaries of the Tribal land associated with the Tribally-owned or controlled provider seeking support.
The bidding credit reduces the Tribal entity’s bid amount by 25 percent for the purpose of comparing it to other bids, but if the entity were to win, support would be calculated at the full, undiscounted bid amount.
Public Interest Obligations
To ensure that Mobility Fund Phase I support meets the Commission’s public interest objectives, all recipients will be subject to a variety of obligations, including service requirements, performance deadlines, annual reporting and record retention requirements, collocation, voice and data roaming requirements, and Tribal engagement obligations in exchange for the support they receive. Among other things, a winning bidder will be required to provide coverage to a minimum of 75 percent of the road miles associated with the eligible blocks in each biddable geographic area for which it is awarded support within two years for 3G deployments or three years for 4G deployments.
USF/ICC Transformation Order, FCC 11-161, 26 FCC Rcd 17663 (2011) (pdf