Auction 65 began on 5/10/2006 and closed on 6/2/2006.
Round 144. (See PN DA 06-1197)
Nationwide commercial licenses offered in three alternative band configurations. Licenses in only one of the three band plans will be awarded.
See table below.
1-3 MHz per license. See Public Notice DA 06-299 for more information.
2 Bidders won 2 Licenses
- Key Dates
- Licenses Offered
- Spectrum (Paired)
- Permissible Operations
- Eligibility Restriction
- License Period and Construction Requirements
- Bidding Credits
- Spectrum Sharing Plan
- International Coordination
- Incumbent Licensee
- Licensing Rules
- Auction No. 65 offered new nationwide commercial Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service licenses in the 800 MHz band in three alternative band configurations: (1) Band Plan 1, comprised of two overlapping, shared, cross-polarized 3 MHz licenses (Licenses A and B, respectively), (2) Band Plan 2, comprised of an exclusive 3 MHz license and an exclusive 1 MHz license (Licenses C and D, respectively), and (3) Band Plan 3, comprised of an exclusive 1 MHz license and an exclusive 3 MHz license (Licenses E and F, respectively), with the blocks at opposite ends of the band from Band Plan 2. Licenses in only one of these mutually incompatible band configurations will be awarded. For more information, see Procedures Public Notice DA 06-299, released February 21, 2006.
- A complete list of licenses available in Auction No. 65 and their descriptions is provided in Attachment A of Public Notice DA 06-299.
A new licensee may provide any type of air-ground service (i.e., voice telephony, broadband Internet, data, etc.) to aircraft of any type, and serve any or all aviation markets (commercial, government, and general). A licensee must provide service to aircraft. A new licensee may not provide ancillary land mobile or fixed services in the 800 MHz air-ground spectrum.
In order to promote competition in the 800 MHz air-ground band, the Commission has prohibited any party from obtaining a controlling interest, either at auction or by a post-auction transaction, in new licenses for more than three megahertz of spectrum (either shared or exclusive) in the band. No single party, therefore, may win in auction more than one license in any of the available band configurations.
- 800 MHz Air-Ground Radiotelephone licenses are issued for a ten-year term beginning on the date of the initial authorization grant.
- Each 800 MHz Air-Ground Radiotelephone licensee must provide “substantial service” to aircraft within five years of the initial authorization grant in order to satisfy the construction requirement and must file a notice of compliance within 15 days of the expiration of this period. (See 47 C.F.R. § 1.946.)
- The Commission did not establish a construction requirement for either of the 1 MHz spectrum licenses (D and E) in Auction No. 65. If either license is acquired, the licensee would have to share spectrum with Verizon Airfone’s incumbent system until the expiration of Verizon Airfone’s non-renewable license term (May 2010).
Bidding credits were available to small businesses and very small businesses and consortia thereof (as defined in 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2110(c)(6)). A bidding credit represents the amount by which a bidder’s winning bid is discounted. The size of the bidding credit depends on the average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years of the bidder, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests:
- A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (“small business”) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid.
- A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (“very small business”) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid.
If Band Plan 1, which is comprised of two overlapping 3 MHz licenses, is implemented, the new licensees will be required to jointly file a spectrum sharing and site selection plan with the Bureau within six months of the initial grant of their spectrum licenses, and they will be required to notify the Bureau of any changes to the plan. The Bureau will issue a public notice prior to the commencement of Auction No. 65 in which it will specify the filing requirements for such a plan. This approach will provide parties with overlapping spectrum licenses flexibility to configure their systems without having to adhere to minimum spacing requirements or site locations predetermined by the Commission.
To promote interoperable communications and to manage interference, some of the ground station locations in North America and channel block assignments of the 800 MHz air-ground band have been predetermined consistent with bilateral agreements with Mexico and with Canada. These agreements, which provide for coordinated use of the 800 MHz air-ground frequencies over North American airspace, are based on a narrow bandwidth channel scheme, and therefore may need to be renegotiated to provide for more flexible use of this spectrum based on the band plan configuration that is implemented as a result of the auction.
In the Air-Ground Order, the Commission granted Verizon Airfone -- the only incumbent service provider in the 800 MHz air-ground band — a nonrenewable license to operate in the band for five years. This license will expire in May 2010. Verizon Airfone must transition its incumbent narrowband operations from four to one megahertz of spectrum in the band within two years of the initial grant date of a new license in the band. The Commission has directed the Bureau to adopt reporting requirements so that Airfone’s transition of its base stations and its subscribers’ aircraft to operations in one megahertz of the 800 MHz air-ground band may be monitored. Accordingly, the Bureau issued a public notice enumerating such requirements on February 6, 2006. Airfone must file its initial transition status report with the Commission six months from the date of the grant of any new license in the band and at each of the three six-month intervals thereafter. For more details, see Public Notice DA 06-294 released February 6, 2006.