T-Mobile, Comcast, Dish and US Cellular among big winners in FCC broadcast airwaves auctionBy Shawn Knight
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday revealed that Comcast, Dish Network, US Cellular and T-Mobile were among the top spenders in the most recent spectrum auction.
The airwaves auction, which allowed broadcasters to repurpose their airwaves for mobile use, generated $19.8 billion in gross revenue for 70 MHz of spectrum. Of the 175 broadcasters that participated, the FCC said 30 stations will receive money in exchange for moving to a lower channel while 133 others will utilize channel-sharing agreements to remain on air.
T-Mobile said it walked away with 31 MHz of spectrum - 45 percent of the total - that's spread across the US and Puerto Rico, quadrupling its low-band holdings. The carrier said the spectrum, which it'll start using later this year, cost $7.99 billion and will allow them to expand their LTE network to new areas of the country.
In total, 50 wireless carriers won spectrum in the auction.
The FCC on Thursday also announced new channel assignments (and the dates those assignments will go into effect) for 957 non-winning stations that must change channels to clear the airwaves for wireless use. The first group of stations required to move channels must do so by November 30, 2018.
The full list of winners can be found in Appendix B of the Public Notice (PDF).