Fact Sheet

Date

Auction 108 bidding is scheduled to begin on 7/29/2022

Licenses

Approximately 8,000 licenses
Up to three blocks of spectrum licensed on county-based license areas

Spectrum

2.5 GHz (2496–2690 MHz) band

Bandwidth

The first channel block will include channels A1–A3, B1–B3, C1–C3 (49.5 megahertz)
The second channel block will include channels D1–D3, the J channels, and channels A4, B4, C4, D4, and G4 (50.5 megahertz)
The third channel block will include channels G1–G3 and the relevant K channels (16.5 megahertz of contiguous spectrum and 1 megahertz of the K channels associated with the G channel group, for a total of 17.5 megahertz)

 

General auction information and associated licensing information is provided below.  This fact sheet includes:

 

Key Dates

Event

Date

Auction Application Tutorial available

4/5/2022

Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window opens

4/27/2022, 12:00 pm Eastern Time (ET)

Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Deadline

5/10/2022, 6:00 pm ET

Upfront Payment Deadline

6/23/2022, 6:00 pm ET

Auction Bidding Tutorial available

No later than 7/13/2022

Mock Auction

7/26–27/2022

Auction Bidding Start

7/29/2022

 

Auction Participation

In order to participate in Auction 108, you must (1) submit a short-form application (FCC Form 175) prior to 6:00 pm ET on May 10, 2022; (2) make various required certifications, including certifications related to statutory and regulatory requirements; and (3) submit a sufficient upfront payment by 6:00 pm ET on June 23, 2022.  Moreover, you must comply with applicable Commission rules and all provisions outlined in the Auction 108 Procedures Public Notice and any additional Auction 108 public notices, which can be found in the Releases section of this web page. 

In addition, under the Education section of this website, interested parties will find additional helpful tools for participating in the auction, including an application tutorial, application filing instructions, a mapping tool, and the bidding technical guide.

 

Licenses Offered

Auction 108 will offer approximately 8,000 new flexible‐use geographic overlay licenses for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band in county-based license areas.

The 117.5 megahertz of spectrum available in Auction 108 will be offered as geographic overlay licenses for unassigned spectrum in the 2.5 GHz (2496–2690 MHz) band.  We will offer up to three blocks of spectrum—49.5 megahertz, 50.5 megahertz, and 17.5 megahertz blocks—licensed on a county basis.  Specifically, the first channel block will include channels A1–A3, B1–B3, C1–C3 (49.5 megahertz); the second channel block will include channels D1–D3, the J channels, and channels A4, B4, C4, D4, and G4 (50.5 megahertz); and the third channel block will include channels G1–G3 and the relevant K channels (16.5 megahertz of contiguous spectrum and 1 megahertz of the K channels associated with the G channel group, for a total of 17.5 megahertz), respectively.  New overlay licenses in the EBS portion of the 2.5 GHz band will be issued for 10-year, renewable license terms.  A licensee in this band may provide any services permitted under terrestrial fixed or mobile allocations, as set forth in the non-Federal Government column of the Table of Frequency Allocations in section 2.106 of the Commission’s rules.  

108 Band Plan

With overlay licenses, licensees obtain the rights to geographic area licenses “overlaid” on top of the existing incumbent licenses.  As with an ordinary flexible-use license, the overlay licensee may operate anywhere within its geographic area, subject to protecting the licensed areas of incumbent licensees.  Potential encumbrances on the licenses available in Auction 108 include both existing licenses and pending applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window.  Any winning bidder awarded a license in Auction 108 will not be allowed to operate within the license area of a successful Rural Tribal Priority Window applicant, even if that application remains pending today or at the time of issuance of the overlay license.  Due to these encumbrances, a substantial number of licenses in the inventory for Auction 108 have a very small amount of unassigned area or spectrum. 

Applicants should perform individual due diligence research and analysis before applying to participate in the auction.  In addition to the typical due diligence considerations that we encourage of bidders in all auctions, we call particular attention in Auction 108 to potential encumbrances due to existing licenses and pending applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window.  We note in particular that there will be a substantial number of licenses in inventory where the amount of unassigned area or frequency that is unassigned is very small.  For example, there could be licenses in Channel Block 2 where as little as 0.333 megahertz of spectrum is unassigned.  There are also a substantial number of licenses where the area with unassigned spectrum is smaller than one square mile.  Applicants should carefully consider these issues and the technical and economic implications for commercial use of the 2.5 GHz band.

 

Permissible Operations

A licensee in the 2.5 GHz band may provide any services permitted under terrestrial fixed or mobile allocations, 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 10 years from the date of initial issuance or renewal.  (See 47 CFR § 27.13(o))

 

Performance Requirements

Licensees in the 2.5 GHz band must meet the following benchmarks, based on the type of service they provide.

Mobile/Point-to-Multipoint Service.  Licensees providing mobile or point-to-multipoint service must demonstrate reliable signal coverage of 50% of the population of the geographic service area within four years of initial license grant, and 80% of the population of the geographic service area within eight years of initial license grant.

Point-to-Point Service.  Licensees providing fixed point-to-point service must demonstrate operation of one link for each 50,000 persons in the geographic service area within four years of initial license grant, and one link for each 25,000 persons in the geographic service area within eight years of initial license grant.

Failure to Meet Performance Requirements.  If a 2.5 GHz licensee fails to meet interim performance requirements described above, the deadline for that authorization to meet its final performance requirement will be advanced by two years. If a licensee fails to meet its final performance requirement, its license shall automatically terminate without specific Commission action.

(See 47 CFR § 27.14(u))

 

Bidding Credits

Bidding credit discounts will be available to those applicants that demonstrate that they are eligible small businesses or rural service providers and win one or more licenses at auction. 

An applicant may 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.  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

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 2.5 GHz band licenses to be offered in Auction 108, the level of bidding credits available is determined as follows: 

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $55 million for the preceding five years is eligible to receive a 15% discount on its overall payments.

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $20 million for the preceding five years is eligible to receive a 25% discount on its overall payments.

Small business bidding credits are not cumulative; an eligible applicant may receive either the 15% or the 25% bidding credit discount on its overall payments, but not both.  The Commission’s unjust enrichment provisions 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 at least the same level of small business bidding credit.

 

Rural Service Provider Bidding Credit

An applicant that is eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit will receive a 15% discount on its overall payment, subject to the $10 million cap discussed below.  To be eligible, 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, have 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.     

 

Caps on Bidding Credit Discounts

Applicants eligible for bidding credit discounts will be subject to caps on the total amount of discounts they may receive.  Specifically, an eligible small business is subject to a $25 million cap, and an eligible rural service provider is subject to a $10 million cap.  In addition, no eligible small business will be able to obtain more than $10 million in bidding credit discounts in total for licenses won in counties located within any partial economic area (PEA) 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 qualifying Tribal lands that have a wireline penetration rate equal to or below 85% is eligible to receive a Tribal lands bidding credit as set forth in sections 1.2107(e) and 1.2110(f)(3) 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, and 27