Fact Sheet

Date:

Auction 101 bidding is scheduled to begin on 11/14/2018

Licenses:

3,072 licenses total
Block L1:  1,536 county-based licenses
Block L2:  1,536 county-based licenses*

Spectrum

27.500 – 28.350 GHz

Bandwidth:

Two 425-megahertz blocks
27.500 – 27.925 GHz and 27.925 – 28.350 GHz

*Note: The county-based licenses are defined by 1990 boundaries in order to align with incumbent 28 GHz licenses.

General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below.  Public notices provide specific information regarding this auction.  This fact sheet includes:

Key Dates

Event Date
Auction Application Tutorial available 8/28/2018
Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window opens 9/5/2018; 12:00 pm Eastern Time (ET)
Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Deadline 9/18/2018; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payment Deadline 10/23/2018; 6:00 pm ET*
Auction Bidding Tutorial available no later than 11/1/2018
Mock Auction 11/8/2018
Auction Bidding Start 11/14/2018

* Note: Upfront payments cannot be received prior to 10/1/2018.

Licenses Offered

Auction 101 will offer 3,072 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the 28 GHz band, and the licenses will be county-based. The 28 GHz band will be licensed as two 425-megahertz blocks (27.500 – 27.925 GHz and 27.925 – 28.350 GHz). For each county in which 28 GHz licenses will be available for auction, both blocks of the 28 GHz band will be available. The complete list of licenses to be offered in Auction 101 is available at www.fcc.gov/auction/101 under “Attachment A Files.”

UMFUS License Summary — Auction 101 (28 GHz)
Block Frequencies (GHz) Total Bandwidth Geographic Area Type Number of Licenses
L1 27.500 – 27.925 425 megahertz County* 1,536
L2 27.925 – 28.350 425 megahertz County* 1,536
Total   850 megahertz   3,072

*Note: Each block includes one partial county due to prior partitioning.

Permissible Operations

The Commission authorized both fixed and mobile operations in the 28 GHz band. A licensee in the 28 GHz band may provide any services permitted under a fixed or mobile allocation, as set forth in the non-Federal Government column of the Table of Frequency Allocations in Section 2.106 of the Commission’s rules.

License Period and Construction Requirements

License Period

Initial authorizations will have a term not to exceed ten years from the date of initial issuance or renewal. (See CFR § 30.103)

Construction Requirements

Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licensees must make a buildout showing as part of their renewal applications. Licensees relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service must show that they are providing reliable signal coverage and service to at least 40 percent of the population within the service area of the licensee, and that they are using facilities to provide service in that area either to customers or for internal use. Licensees relying on point-to-point service must demonstrate that they have four links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, if the population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the population within the license area is greater than 268,000, a licensee relying on point-to-point service must demonstrate that it has at least one link in operation and is providing service for each 67,000 population within the license area. In order to be eligible to be counted under the point-to-point buildout standard, a point-to-point link must operate with a transmit power greater than +43 dBm.

Showings that rely on a combination of multiple types of service will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If a licensee in this service is also a Fixed-Satellite Service licensee and uses the spectrum covered under its UMFUS license in connection with a satellite earth station, it can demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this section by demonstrating that the earth station in question is in service, operational, and using the spectrum associated with the license. This provision can only be used to demonstrate compliance for the county in which the earth station is located.

Failure to meet this requirement will result in automatic cancellation of the license.

(See 47 CFR § 30.104)

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits will be available to applicants demonstrating eligibility for a small business or a rural service provider bidding credit and subsequently winning license(s). An applicant is permitted to claim either a small business bidding credit or a rural service provider bidding credit, but not both. Each applicant must also certify that it is eligible for the claimed bidding credit in its FCC Form 175. In addition to the information provided below, each applicant should review carefully the Commission’s decisions regarding the designated entity provisions as well as the Part 1 rules.

Small Business Bidding Credits

For Auction 101, bidding credits will be available to eligible small businesses and consortia thereof, subject to the caps discussed below. Under the service rules applicable to the UMFUS licenses to be offered in Auction 101, the level of bidding credit available is determined as follows:

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $55 million for the preceding three years is eligible to receive a 15 percent discount on its winning bid.

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $20 million for the preceding three years is eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on its winning bid.

Small business bidding credits are not cumulative; an eligible applicant may receive either the 15 percent or the 25 percent bidding credit on its winning bid, but not both. The Commission’s unjust enrichment provisions also apply to a winning bidder that uses a bidding credit and subsequently seeks to assign or transfer control of its license within a certain period to an entity not qualifying for the same level of small business bidding credit.

Rural Service Provider Bidding Credit

An eligible applicant may request a 15 percent discount on its winning bid using a rural service provider bidding credit, subject to the $10 million cap discussed below. To be eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit, an applicant must: (1) be a service provider that is in the business of providing commercial communications services and, together with its controlling interests, affiliates, and the affiliates of its controlling interests, has fewer than 250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers; and (2) serve predominantly rural areas, defined as counties with a population density of 100 or fewer persons per square mile. These eligibility requirements must be satisfied by the FCC Form 175 filing deadline. Additionally, an applicant may count any subscriber as a single subscriber even if that subscriber receives more than one service.

Each applicant seeking a rural service provider bidding credit must disclose the number of subscribers it has, along with the number of subscribers of its affiliates, controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests. The applicant must also submit an attachment that lists all parties with which the applicant has entered into any spectrum use agreements or arrangements for any licenses that be may won by the applicant in Auction 101. In addition, to the extent that an applicant has an agreement with any disclosable interest holder for the use of more than 25 percent of the spectrum capacity of any license that may be won in Auction 101, the identity and the attributable subscribers of any such disclosable interest holder must be disclosed. Like applicants seeking eligibility for small business bidding credits, eligible rural service providers may also form a consortium. If an applicant is applying as a consortium of rural service providers, the disclosures described in this paragraph must be provided for each consortium member.

Caps on Bidding Credits

Eligible applicants claiming either a small business or rural service provider bidding credit will be subject to certain caps on the total amount of bidding credits that any eligible applicant may receive. Specifically, an eligible small business in Auction 101 is subject to a $25 million cap on the total amount of bidding credits that may be applied to winning bids. An eligible rural service provider in Auction 101 is subject to a $10 million cap on the total amount of bidding credits that may be applied to winning bids. In addition, no winning designated entity bidder will be able to obtain more than $10 million in bidding credits in total for licenses won in markets with a population of 500,000 or less.

Tribal Lands Bidding Credit

A winning bidder that intends to use its license(s) to deploy facilities and provide services to federally recognized tribal lands that are unserved by any telecommunications carrier or that have a wireline penetration rate equal to or below 85 percent is eligible to receive a tribal lands bidding credit as set forth in Sections 1.2107 and 1.2110(f) of the Commission’s rules. A tribal lands bidding credit is in addition to, and separate from, any other bidding credit for which a winning bidder may qualify.

Licensing Rules

47 CFR Parts 1, 2, 25, 30, and 101