Continuing its efforts to license spectrum for mobile broadband uses consistent with the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the FCC announced that it will auction spectrum licenses to the H Block by January 14, 2014. The H Block spectrum will be used for flexible-use services, including mobile broadband, and expand the Personal Communications Services (PCS) band. The FCC sought comment on auction procedures, including auction design, auction structure, and post-auction payments. Comments were due August 5, 2013 and reply comments are due August 16, 2013.
The licenses for H Block spectrum will be awarded on an Economic Areas basis in all areas, including the Gulf of Mexico. The Lower H Block and Upper H Block frequencies will be licensed as paired 5 MHz blocks, with each license having a bandwidth of 10 megahertz: 1915-1920 MHz for mobile and low power fixed (uplink) operations, and 1995-2000 MHz for base station and fixed (downlink) operations. The spectrum will be subject to cost-sharing requirements related to the past clearing and relocation of incumbent users from these bands.