A new round of bidding in the FCC’s Reverse Auction of the UHF spectrum began on November 1. This begins Stage 3
In Stage 1 and Stage 2, the buyers (mostly the broadband industry) failed to bid enough to cover the amounts required to buy up the licenses, the costs of relocating stations, as well as profits for the federal government to complete the auction.
The Stage 3 Reverse Auction has the current license holders establishing the price for their licenses. A smaller group, as with each subsequent stage, the amount of spectrum to be auctioned off gets smaller. When this auction is complete, the Stage 3 Forward Auction will commence.
As of the end of Stage 2, it appears that everything below the sacrosanct UHF Channel 37 is no longer for sale. Lectrosonics translation: Blocks up to 23 are still available for use. Blocks 24 through 26 are still up for sale. Spectrum up to 608 MHz will remain available for wireless microphone use, however, every UHF TV station above 614 MHz that sells its license and continues to operate will be relocated below 608 MHz, either sharing existing UHF TV channels or acquiring their own.
Bandwidth for wireless microphone use is becoming increasingly crowded, and licensed users have priority over nonlicensed users. If you haven’t acquired a Part 74 License, please apply.
Jay Patterson CAS
Vice President, Local 695
Co-chair, Technical Trends Committee