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COVID-19 Concerns Prompt Month Delay in 3.5 GHz Auction

Randy Sukow / Mar 25, 2020

The FCC said today that is delaying the start date for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) auction from June 25 to July 23. The auction is for Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz band. CBRS PALs are a major part of the Commission’s plans to open mid-band spectrum to support 5G and fixed broadband services. It said that it needed more time to organize the auction due to complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many Americans have had to make tough decisions on how they do business in this rapidly changing environment, and the FCC is no different,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a press release.  “After consulting agency staff within the relevant Bureaus and Offices, we determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to make these changes.  But we remain committed to holding the 3.5 GHz auction this summer and look forward to beginning this important mid-band auction in July.”

Along with the start date, the FCC is also delaying key dates leading up to the auction. Participants now have between April 23 and May 7 to file a short form application to enter the auction. Upfront payments for eligibility to bid in specific markets now are due on June 19.

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