Not Yet Announced

Posted on March 30th, 2021 by

Some of our readers and clients have recently asked about the status of a few items at the FCC, so we thought it best to also give an update here.

While the FCC has announced Auction 109 for four commercial AM and 136 commercial FM construction permits, and requested comment on proposed bidding procedures, it has not yet set the dates and deadline for interested applicants to file short form applications to qualify for the auction. We expect such an announcement sometime later this month or in early March.  This auction replaces Auction 106, originally scheduled and cancelled in 2020 due to COVID.  The permits available can be reviewed at this link.  Interested parties should complete all diligence now about frequencies they may bid upon.

Next up is the anticipated filing window of new NCE-FM construction permits.  Despite an announcement in October 2020 that the FCC would hold a 2021 filing window for new noncommercial FM construction permits, the FCC has still not scheduled that filing window.

For the last such filing window nearly 14 years ago, the FCC gave about 60 days advance notice of when the window would be held, and the filing window itself was only 7 days long.  For those possibly interested in participating in the filing window, we recommend a review of the FCC’s recent changes to the way it decides who wins a noncommercial construction permit when there are competing applicants for the same spectrum.

Finally, we’ve had several inquiries about when and how the FCC will make lump sum payments for C-Band earth stations that elected and qualified for such payments.  Winners in the C-Band auction are making payments now, so we expect some FCC announcement about lump sum payments/ processes in the next 2-3 months.

Some of these items may have been slowed a bit by the changeover in administration.  We’re keeping an eye out for developments and will cover those in future newsletter additions.