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US FCC Receives 104 Applications For Low-Frequency Spectrum Auction

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US FCC Receives 104 Applications For Low-Frequency Spectrum Auction

The US Federal Communications Commission said on Friday that it had received 104 applications to take part in an auction of valuable low-frequency airwaves relinquished by TV broadcasters. The bidders include many wireless companies who want to use the airwaves to build new networks or improve the existing networks.

As per FCC, 35 out of total 104 applications received are incomplete and the applicants have a timeline of April 6 to finish their applications. The applicants include subsidiaries of Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T, T-Mobile US Inc and Liberty Global Plc and many other U.S. rural carriers.

The auction process will be held in a manner to incentivize the TV broadcasters (sellers) to sell at the lowest rates and at the same time, encourage the telecom companies (bidders) to buy at the highest rates. The government plays the middlemen here and keeps a large part of the difference.

Analysts forecast that the upcoming auction could fetch proceeds in the range of $15 billion to $45 billion but they expect the bidders to be less aggressive than in the FCC’s last auction, the “AWS-3 auction,” which ended last year and set a record of $44.9 billion in bids.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said earlier this month that he was encouraged by the strong interest that he has seen both from broadcasters interested in selling their spectrum and the broad assortment of parties interested in buying it.

On another note, the FCC said on Friday that a decision by a federal appeals court to allow Latina Broadcasters to provisionally participate in the auction will not delay the auction. THE FCC had earlier denied the Latina Broadcasters to participate in the auction.

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