August 10, 2016 - 12:00 pm
By Gary Epstein | Chair, Incentive Auction Task Force
Jean L. Kiddoo | Deputy Chair, Incentive Auction Task Force

Who says nothing happens in Washington in August?

On Tuesday, August 16th, the Incentive Auction will enter the first stage of forward auction bidding, in which bidders will compete to win new 600 MHz Band licenses for mobile broadband use. Because this is a new auction design, we wanted to give you a preview of how the process will unfold and how the public can keep track as the auction moves through the bidding rounds.

Key Forward Auction Terms

Product: The Pairing of a license category and a partial economic area or "PEA" -- the 416 geographic markets in which we offer licenses.

Supply: The number of available blocks for a given product.

Aggregate Demand: The total number of blocks demanded by all bidders for a product once bids have been processed for the round.

Posted Price: The price for a product once bids have been processed for the round.

Next Round Clock Price: The highest possible bid amount for a product for the next round.

First, we will offer a mock auction on August 11th and 12th. Bidders had an opportunity in July to participate in a comprehensive “practice auction” to familiarize themselves with the bidding system and to experience various simulated forward auction events and benchmarks. Bidders will now be able to use the mock auction as their final opportunity to get hands on experience with the bidding system before the auction begins. We have provided the Forward Auction Clock Phase Tutorial, which explains the bidding process in detail, to both bidders and the public.

Throughout the forward auction, the public will be able to obtain information about the results of bidding on our Public Reporting System (PRS). You can view the upcoming schedule of bidding rounds on the Dashboard of the PRS as well as track progress toward meeting the two prongs of the final stage rule that determines whether the auction will close at the current clearing target.

In addition, the Forward Auction section of the PRS will provide a Product Status screen that will offer details on bidding activity for each product. Section 4 of the PRS User Guide illustrates the types of data that will be available, and the Forward Auction Clock Phase Bidding System User Guide contains a glossary of the key terms (see page 73).

Unlike the reverse auction, in which there is a limited number of possible rounds, forward auction bidding rounds for a stage can continue without limit so long as demand outpaces supply for any product. As such, we cannot predict when the forward auction will conclude. Until it does, we invite you to watch along with us as the forward auction clock phase bidding in the first-ever Incentive Auction gets underway.