Statement of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on H Block Auction
STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN
ON H BLOCK AUCTION
January 22, 2014To say that a spectrum auction is long overdue is an understatement. This will be the FCC's first major
auction since 2008, and it comes at a time when the commercial market and consumer demand for mobile
wireless services are skyrocketing.
This auction has revived spectrum which not too long ago was forlorn. The 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-
2000 MHz bands have been designated for auction for nearly a decade, but were mired in difficult
interference disputes. Since the enactment of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,
FCC staff has worked diligently and creatively during the AWS-4 and H Block proceedings, to resolve
disputes and produce new technical rules that now allow the H Block to be valuable for mobile broadband
Congress directed the FCC to consider several methods when designing auctions, including the setting of
a reserve price and minimum opening bids. The rules for the H Block auction ensure that it meets the
statutory mandated objectives, including promoting the efficient use of the spectrum.
After reviewing the record, which included comments supporting the use of a reserve price, the
Commission decided to set an aggregate reserve price of $1.564 billion, and opening bids for each
geographic market license offered in the auction. More than 30 entities filed applications to participate,
and the Commission announced there are 23 entities qualified to bid.
I am proud to have worked closely with our expert staff at the FCC to take this important step. At the end
of the day, we are expediting commercial use of spectrum so it can be deployed as rapidly as possible, as
the President encouraged in June 2013. The Commission’s decision reflects responsible spectrum
management, and dutiful adherence to our statutory obligation to proceed in the public interest.
We live in an “always-on” mobile environment. The high level of interest, and the overall record in this
proceeding, reaffirm the importance of this auction to help industry meet the nation's ever-increasing
demand for mobile services. Both consumers and providers stand to gain by our decision to bring this
highly valued resource to market.
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