The 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (5G SALE) Act was passed unanimously by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday 5 December and will now be considered by the House of Representatives. If approved by the House, the legislation would grant the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a one-time, temporary authority to issue licences purchased in auctions that were held before 9 March 2023 (i.e. when the FCC’s spectrum auction authority was allowed to lapse).
Controversially, in March the US Senate allowed the FCC’s spectrum auction authority to lapse for the first time since 1994. A bill that would have extended the regulator’s spectrum authority to 19 May was passed by the lower house but objections in the Senate (upper house) delayed the legislation, resulting in the lapse. To date, the FCC has held more than 100 auctions and has raised more than USD233 billion in revenues.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Auction 108 drew to a close on 29 August 2022 after 73 rounds of bidding. Participating companies successfully bid on 7,872 2.5GHz licences, generating gross proceeds of USD427.790 million. T-Mobile US secured the bulk of the available licences, bidding USD304.325 million for 7,156 regional concessions.
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