The FCC Spectrum Auction

Authorized by the Spectrum Act of 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to buy some licensed over-the-air broadcast spectrum from public and commercial TV stations and to re-sell it to wireless broadband companies. The FCC is taking this step to address growing wireless industry demand for spectrum and generate revenue for a number of federal government initiatives.

Stations that voluntarily choose to participate in the FCC's "spectrum auction" will be paid for any relinquished spectrum. The sale of any spectrum is permanent.

All broadcasters must decide whether to file an auction participation application this fall and then, in early 2016, whether to actually follow through with auction participation.

At no time is any TV station guaranteed that the FCC will purchase its spectrum or that the station will be paid amounts identified in the FCC's opening bid prices that were published in October.

Watch the video below to learn more about the spectrum auction process.

Video: The Spectrum Auction - What, When & Why It Matters

MPT Statement

At MPT, as at all other public and commercial television stations, we are carefully considering our options regarding the upcoming voluntary FCC spectrum auction. We are working with our governing body, the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission, to determine if or how we should participate.

The FCC's spring 2016 auction is designed so that it can purchase spectrum at the lowest possible prices from participating stations. Stations will compete against each other to sell their spectrum during as many as 52 separate rounds of downward bidding. The just-published FCC opening bid prices for stations are only starting points – maximum initial bids – so prices are expected to drop significantly as bidding rounds proceed.

As we continue to assess all of our options, our primary goal remains to ensure that Maryland citizens continue to have free over-the-air access to the valuable educational, news, arts and entertainment content that MPT provides.