The FCC said it inadvertently made the license selections of some short-form applications for Auction 103 available for public viewing. The incident occurred for “under three hours,” according to a notice from the Office of Economics and Analytics and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. The Commission said a “small number” were seen.
Auction 103 will offer Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the Upper 37 GHz (37.6–38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6–40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2–48.2 GHz) bands. The auction is slated to begin December 10.
Thirty-nine short-form applications to participate in Auction 103 (FCC Forms 175) were submitted. Consistent with its anonymous bidding procedures, the FCC intended to make available each applicant’s entire FCC Form 175 except for the Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) selected. When it realized the license area selections were publicly available, it “immediately suppressed” the information from public search to prevent further access.
The FCC does not forsee “any adverse impact” on competition in the auction. The agency said: “It would not be possible to discern with any certainty the particular bidders placing bids on any specific license area. These circumstances together with the very limited scope of the disclosure as determined by our investigation convince us that knowledge of the license selections of the applicants whose license area selections were viewed will not provide a material—if any—competitive advantage during the bidding.”
But it realizes the “perceived” potential impact and is providing affected applicants with more flexibility concerning their license selections. This will allow those affected applicants that did not select all PEAs to change their license area selections for a short period. Those who were notified have until 6 p.m. Eastern on October 23, to seek a waiver and have the agency change their application. Once the FCC makes the change in the Auction Application System, the applicant must recertify and re-submit its FCC Form 175 in that same system to confirm and effect the change.
The Commission is not extending the upfront payment deadline for any applicant; that remains 6 p.m. on October 22.
October 24, 2019
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