The FCC is delaying its auction of wireless licenses in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) for 5G because of the coronavirus. The agency is also postponing, indefinitely, an auction of FM construction permits. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes were deemed necessary in order to protect the health and safety of Commission staff and to allow parties additional time to prepare to participate in Auctions 105 and 106, the Commission said Wednesday.
Auction 105 involves Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band. The short-form application (FCC Form 175) filing window will now open on April 23, at 12 p.m. ET and close on May 7, at 6 p.m. ET. Upfront payments will be due June 19. Bidding will begin on July 23, nearly a month after the original June 25 start date.
“Many Americans have had to make tough decisions on how they do business in this rapidly changing environment, and the FCC is no different,” said Chairman Ajit Pai. “After consulting agency staff within the relevant bureaus and offices, we determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to make these changes. But we remain committed to holding the 3.5 GHz auction this summer and look forward to beginning this important mid-band auction in July.”
The FCC is postponing indefinitely Auction 106, an auction of FM CPs that was scheduled to begin on April 28. Applicants who submitted upfront payments may receive a refund after submitting a written request. A revised schedule will be announced at a future time.