TV Auction Clock Phase – Where Art Thou?

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by

After forecasting that the clock phase of the TV Incentive Auction would likely begin at the end of April or early-May, everyone expected the third confidential letter to be sent around mid-April, with mock auctions in late April. The FCC apparently has other plans.

As of this writing, applicants who made an initial commitment in the auction by the March 29th deadline are still waiting on the third confidential letter, which will also announce the mock auction schedule and start of the clock phase of the reverse auction. During the clock phase, the FCC will conduct at least one and probably two rounds per day, Monday through Friday. Bidders will find out their status electronically after each round.

And so we wait. The auctions portal remains inaccessible at the moment, likely a purposeful action by the FCC to prevent hacking or other nefarious activities. It will resurface when the FCC is ready. Participants should watch for overnight deliveries. And we’ll all be watching for the FCC’s announcement of the clearing target, which will establish the initial goal for how much TV spectrum the FCC hopes to clear. Could all of this happen late on the last Friday in April (today)? Quite possibly.

As a reminder, the FCC’s anti-collusion rules remain in place until the end of the reverse auction. Be cautious in your communications with others to stay clear of any rule violations.