Short-Form Applications due April 9 for CBRS PALs Auction

Join Us For a Webinar on March 25 at 11 AM, ET


On March 2, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released the Public Notice announcing application and bidding procedures for the upcoming Auction 105 of Priority Access Licenses (“PALs”) in the Citizen Broadband Radio Service (“CBRS”) (3550-3700 MHz).  Auction 105 marks the Commission’s first auction of mid-band spectrum.

As you may already know, auction participants will be able to bid on up to four of seven total 10 MHz PALs per county-based license area.  The Commission will offer a total of 22,631 PALs in Auction 105, the most to ever be offered in a single auction.  The Commission will use an ascending clock auction design, like it has done in Auction 102 (24 GHz) and Auction 103 (Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 49 GHz).  However, unlike Auctions 102 and 103, there will not be an assignment phase for specific frequencies because the Spectrum Access System (“SAS”) Administrators will make the channel assignments.  Like previous auctions, applicants must submit a timely short-form application, upfront payment and Form 159 to be eligible to bid.  Upfront payments will be based on $0.01 per MHz-pop, with a minimum of $500 per county.  A list of the upfront payment and minimum opening bid amounts per block in each county can be downloaded here.  Consistent with other auctions, bidding credits will be available to eligible small businesses and rural service providers, and the Commission adopts the same bidding credit caps.  Additionally, the Commission adopts a new “activity upper limit” that allows bidders to bid above their current bidding eligibility in order to avoid losing eligibility when bids cannot be applied.

To participate in Auction 105, you must have your short-form application submitted by 6:00 PM Eastern on April 9, 2020.  Auction 105 is scheduled to begin on June 25, 2020.  The chart below lists all of the other important dates and deadlines announced in the Public Notice.

Auction 105 Dates and Deadlines
No later than March 9, 2020
Auction Application Tutorial Available (via Internet)
March 26, 2020
[12:00 PM EST]
Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window Opens
April 9, 2020
[6:00 PM EST]
Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window Deadline
May 21, 2020
[6:00 PM EST]
Upfront Payments (via wire transfer) and FCC Remittance Advice Form (FCC Form 159)
No later than June 11, 2020
Bidding Tutorial Available (via Internet)
June 22, 2020
Mock Auction
June 25, 2020
Bidding Begins in Auction 105

Join Herman & Whiteaker on March 25, 2020 at 11 AM Eastern for a free webinar as we discuss the upcoming Auction 105, as well as the potential opportunities and the latest developments with CBRS.  Register for the webinar here. In the meantime, if you have any questions, are interested in participating, or would like assistance with the process, please contact Clare L. Andonov ([email protected]), Dee Herman ([email protected]), or Greg Whiteaker ([email protected]).