Category Archives: FCC

T-Mobile Led the FCC’s Incentive Auction That Drew $19.8 Billion

T-Mobile's FCC Incentive Auction

Conducted recently by the Federal Communications Commission, what is known to be the World’s First Broadcast Incentive Auction, has been a great mix of events!

The auction drew $19.8 billion in bids, out of which T-Mobile spent $8 billion. Thus, becoming the leader of the auction. With a number of mobile, wireless, and long distance phone service providers, the spectrum auction by FCC has been a hit.

However, certain events started a buzz in the telecommunications industry.

T-Mobile Participating and Leading the Auction

Among the behemoth prepaid and cheap home phone service providers, T-Mobile managed to win the most number of licenses with its huge spending of $8 billion. According to the FCC, the telecommunication company won the auction for more than 1,500 spectrum blocks, ranging to more than 400 markets.

According to a Twitter update by Neville Ray, the Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile, “T-Mobile expects 1 million+ sq. miles of 600 MHz will clear in 2017 AND we will begin deployment this year in new & existing markets,”

Thus, the winning spectrum is to be used by the prepaid and long distance phone service provider, to its best. The subscribers are also said to require an upgrade of their phone quipment to be capable of getting great network services in the latest band.

This latest buzz is turning out to be great for the wireless and mobile users of T-Mobile.

The Participation by Other Companies

Besides T-Mobile US Inc., the other two among the top buyers in the auction were Dish Network Corp. and Comcast Corp. The two companies spent $6.2 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.

The participation of companies like Comcast that isn’t even involved in cellular services yet is a great sign of some changes coming in the telecommunications industry.

Surprisingly, the telecommunication behemoths like AT&T and Verizon did not seem active during the auction.

Whereas AT&T, one of the best long distance phone service providers, spent $910 million only on licenses, Verizon declined to place any bid.

About the auction, Verizon said that spending on the spectrum uses a great amount of capital as the waves are quite expensive. The mobile and cheap home phone service provider is interested in investing in improved technology, instead.

Though Verizon didn’t spend on the airwaves, the telecommunication giant seems quite poised to grow its network.

Another reason for AT&T and Verizon’s cold response at the auction can be their recent investment of a billion dollars in the high-frequency airwaves. With these investments, both the mobile and cheap home phone service providers are aiming at growing their ultrafast networks.

However, the absence and less participation of both these telecommunication companies has raised a number of questions with a number of people being surprised by the news.

Final Thoughts

Until today, T-Mobile has not held any low-band frequencies and thus, its network has been weak and interrupted in the rural areas as well as in buildings. Thus, its investment in the airwaves is an important step towards the growth and betterment of this prepaid and long distance phone service provider’s network.

FCC’s Spectrum Auction Bidding to Conclude on Wednesday

Federal Communications Commission


Against all speculations of extension, broadcaster bidding in the FCC’s reverse spectrum auction will finally close on Wednesday as per FCC’s Incentive Auction dashboard. It was scheduled to run just 52 rounds initially, but now two more rounds can be added on Wednesday.

As per the announcement made by the FCC on Friday “The auction schedule displayed in the Auction System and the Public Reporting System currently shows rounds scheduled through round 54.” “While the auction could conclude before then, we put bidders on notice that it could also continue longer and that they should plan accordingly. The base clock price will reach $0 in round 52; however, it is possible to have up to two additional bidding rounds if the final bidding status has not yet been determined for any VHF stations.”

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said on Monday that the FCC will disclose the amount that will be topped to conclude the forward auction, at the end of reverse auction. This amount will be determined by adding both the provisional winning bids from reverse auction and $1.75 billion for dissipating expenditures and FC administrative costs.

As per the FCC, if this amount is not topped in the forward auction, the reverse auction will start again with a reduced amount of Spectrum on the table. This procedure would go on until the clearing target sum is achieved by forward auction bids.

Piecyk shared that a clearing target above $50 billion can make investors think about a longer auction procedure, including several rounds and, noted a goal of more than $70 billion may “stoke fears that the auction could drag into 2017 or that the FCC will not be able to source much spectrum in the big markets at an attractive price.”

On the contrary, Piecyk mentioned that a clearing target of $30 billion or fewer might result in a faster auction timeline for investors and suggest that the FCC had the potential to secure 100MHz of new spectrum in most markets all over the country.

FCC Plans to Subsidize Internet Access for Low Income Families

People who do not have regular access to internet can fall behind in school, at work and even in other everyday tasks. It has become quite the norm for grade school teachers to assign students work that requires internet access. Also, internet has become a major component of today’s professional world. You need to check your emails regularly so that you don’t miss any business opportunity. But for that you need internet access.

Federal Communications Commission

Being aware of how important internet access is to every home, the Federal Communications Commission announced a final proposal to its members to approve a broadband subsidy of $9.25 a month for low-income households, in the government’s boldest effort to date to narrow a technological divide that has emerged between those who have web access and those who do not. “While more than 95 percent of households with incomes over $150,000 have high-speed Internet at home, just 48 percent of those making less than $25,000 can afford the service”, said the F.C.C.’s chairman, Tom Wheeler.

The new plan is said to be a part of an overhaul of a $2 billion phone subsidy program called Lifeline and will go to vote on March 31. “When we talk about digital equity, we need to remember that we’re talking a key part of the answer to many of our nation’s greatest challenges — issues like income inequality, job creation, economic growth, U.S. competitiveness,” Mr. Wheeler said last month in a speech on the plan.

“Five million American families with students at home go without regular broadband access,” said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “We need to bridge this gap and fix this problem because our shared economic future depends on it.”

Senior officials at the FCC who prepared this new Lifeline proposal said “the agency hopes the subsidy will also encourage Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner Cable to go into low-income areas where they may not normally make a profit.”

FCC Alters Exclusion List to Remove Cuba


FCC Alters Exclusion List

As the federal government started to thaw its relationship with Cuba, several opportunities for trade and business have risen. In addition to this, another door opened as the FCC recently dropped the telecom ban on Cuba.

On 15th January, it ordered Cuba to be removed from the Exclusion List for International Section 214 Authorizations. The order adds Cuba to the list of multiple countries around the world where telecom carriers can receive standard international authorization to start developing facilities and services.

Opt for telecom

The US government holds a federal registry which identifies various countries that are not under Section 214 authority, a global regularity structure for telecom. Before the Commission’s order was passed, telecom companies would seek additional permission from the FCC before providing services to Cuba.

Cuba was the last remaining country on the Commission’s Exclusion List,” noted the FCC’s news release.

“By removing Cuba from the Exclusion list, the Commission opens the door for U.S. telecom carriers to provide facilities-based telephone and Internet service to Cuba without separate approval from the Commission,” the FCC stated.

“Specifically, this action allows carriers seeking new international Section 214 authority for facilities-based service to Cuba to receive such authority sooner, and permits carriers with existing global Section 214 authority to provide services between the United States and Cuba without additional authorization.”

Undoubtedly, US telecom companies will now make their way to Cuba now that they are removed from the Exclusion List. AT&T, for example, has publicly requested such changes a long time ago. Telecom companies will now be anxious to go to Cuba now that they will be subjected to similar regulations as other countries.