Auction of Lower 700 MHZ Band Licenses Scheduled for July 20, 2005 Comment Sought On Reserve Prices OR Minimum Opening Bids and Other Procedures for Auction No. 60, 6436-6440 [05-2271]

Share |
Download as PDF
Loading PDF...
6436 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 24 / Monday, February 7, 2005 / Notices FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Linda Mitry, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E5–453 Filed 2–4–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–7870–1] Science Advisory Board Staff Office Notification of an Upcoming Meeting of the Science Advisory Board; Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public meetings of the SAB Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel. DATES: February 11, 2005. A public teleconference of the SAB Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on February 11, 2005. February 24–25, 2005. A public meeting of the Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel will be held on February 24–25, 2005 in the SAB Conference Center at 1025 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20004. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public who wish to submit written or brief oral comments (five minutes or less) must contact Dr. Holly Stallworth, Designated Federal Officer, at telephone: (202) 343–9867 or via e-mail at: stallworth.holly@epa.govs. Requests to provide oral comments must be in writing (e-mail, fax or mail) and received by Dr. Stallworth no later than five business days prior to the meeting in order to reserve time on the meeting agenda. It is the policy of the EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. Any member of the public wishing further information regarding the SAB or the Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel may also contact Dr. Stallworth, or visit the SAB Web site at: http:// www.epa.gov/sab/. Technical Contact: The technical contact in EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response for the Superfund Benefits Analysis is Ms. Melissa Friedland who can be reached at (703) 603–8864 or friedland.melissa@epa.gov. VerDate jul<14>2003 21:04 Feb 04, 2005 Jkt 205001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) has issued a draft study of the benefits of the Superfund program. This draft study is entitled Superfund Benefits Analysis and may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/news/ benefits.htm. OSWER has requested the SAB for advice on its Superfund Benefits Analysis. A ‘‘widecast’’ soliciting expertise for the Superfund Benefits Analysis Advisory Panel was published in a Notice on July 30, 2004 (69 FR 45705–45706). On February 11, 2005, the SAB Panel will discuss charge questions and general plans for the advisory meeting that will follow. The charge questions to this Panel will be posted at the SAB Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/sab/ panels/sba_adv_panel.htm prior to the meeting. On February 24–25, panelists will review the EPA’s draft Superfund Benefits Analysis and discuss responses to charge questions. Meeting materials and agendas for the February 11, 2005 teleconference and for the face-to-face meeting of February 24–25, 2005 will be posted on the SAB Web site prior to each meeting. Procedures for Providing Public Comment: It is the policy of the SAB Staff Office to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. The SAB Staff Office expects that public statements presented at the Panel’s meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted oral or written statements. Oral Comments: Requests to provide oral comments must be in writing (e-mail, fax or mail) and received by Dr. Stallworth no later than five business days prior to the teleconference in order to reserve time on the meeting agenda. For teleconferences, opportunities for oral comment will usually be limited to no more than three minutes per speaker and no more than fifteen minutes total. Written Comments: Although written comments are accepted until the date of the meeting (unless otherwise stated), written comments should be received in the SAB Staff Office at least five business days prior to the meeting date so that the comments may be made available to the committee for their consideration. Comments should be supplied to the DFO at the address/ contact information noted above in the following formats: one hard copy with original signature, and one electronic copy via e-mail (acceptable file format: Adobe Acrobat, WordPerfect, Word, or Rich Text files (in IBM-PC/Windows 98/ 2000/XP format). PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Meeting Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodation to access these meetings, should contact Dr. Stallworth at least five business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Dated: January 25, 2005. Vanessa T. Vu, Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office. [FR Doc. 05–2307 Filed 2–4–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. [Report No. AUC–05–60 (Auction No. 60); DA 05–171] Auction of Lower 700 MHZ Band Licenses Scheduled for July 20, 2005 Comment Sought On Reserve Prices OR Minimum Opening Bids and Other Procedures for Auction No. 60 Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document announces the auction of five licenses in the lower 700 MHz band C Block (710–716/740–746 MHz) licenses scheduled to commence on July 20, 2005 (Auction No. 60). This document also seeks comment on reserve prices or minimum opening bids and other procedures for Auction No. 60. Comments are due on or before February 11, 2005, and reply comments are due on or before February 18, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments and reply comments must be sent by electronic mail to the following address: auction60 @fcc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal questions: Howard Davenport (202) 418–0660. For general auction questions: Roy Knowles or Lisa Stover at (717) 338–2888. For service rule questions, contact the Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, as follows: Erin McGrath, Keith Harper, or JoAnn Epps at (202) 418–0620. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Public Notice released January 26, 2005 Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice. The complete text of the Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice, including attachments and any related Commission documents is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY–A257, DATES: E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6437 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 24 / Monday, February 7, 2005 / Notices Washington, DC 20554. The Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice and related Commission documents may also be purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY–B402, Washington, DC, 20554, telephone 202– 488–5300, facsimile 202–488–5563, or you may contact BCPI at its Website: http://www.BCPIWEB.com. When ordering documents from BCPI, please provide the appropriate FCC document Market no. CMA169 CMA202 CMA723 CMA727 CMA729 .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. I. General Information 1. By the Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (‘‘Bureau’’) announces the auction of lower 700 MHz band licenses, scheduled to Market name II. Auction Structure A. Simultaneous Multiple-Round Auction Design 3. The Bureau proposes to award licenses included in Auction No. 60- in a simultaneous multiple-round auction. This methodology offers every license for bid at the same time with successive bidding rounds in which bidders may place bids on individual licenses. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. B. Upfront Payment and Bidding Eligibility 4. The Bureau has delegated authority and discretion to determine an appropriate upfront payment for each license being auctioned, taking into account such factors as the population in each geographic license area and the value of similar spectrum. The upfront payment is a refundable deposit by each 21:04 Feb 04, 2005 Jkt 205001 WZ–CMA169–C WZ–CMA202–C WZ–CMA723–C WZ–CMA727–C WZ–CMA729–C Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Block ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... ...................................... bidder to establish eligibility to bid on licenses. Upfront payments related to the specific spectrum subject to auction protect against frivolous or insincere bidding and provide the Commission with a source of funds from which to collect payments owed at the close of the auction. With these guidelines in mind for Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to calculate upfront payments on a license-by-license basis using a formula based on bandwidth and license area population: $0.005 * MHz * License Area Population with a minimum of $1,000 per license. The specific proposed upfront payment for each license available in Auction No. 60 is set forth in Attachment A. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. 5. The Bureau further proposes that the amount of the upfront payment submitted by a bidder will determine the maximum number of bidding units on which a bidder may place bids. This limit is a bidder’s initial bidding eligibility. Each license is assigned a specific number of bidding units equal to the upfront payment on a bidding unit per dollar basis. Bidding units for a given license do not change as prices rise during the auction. A bidder’s upfront payment is not attributed to specific licenses. Rather, a bidder may place bids on any combination of licenses as long as the total number of bidding units associated with those licenses does not exceed its current eligibility. Eligibility cannot be increased during the auction; it can only remain the same or decrease. Thus, in calculating its upfront payment amount, an applicant must determine the maximum number of bidding units it may wish to bid on (or hold PO 00000 commence on July 20, 2005 (auction No. 60). This auction will include the C Block Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Rural Service Area (RSA) licenses that remain unsold in Auction No. 49, which closed on June 13, 2003. The C block is a 12-megahertz spectrum block, consisting of a pair of 6megahertz segments. A complete list of licenses available for Auction No. 60 is set forth both below and in Attachment A of Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice. License no. Mayaguez, PR ........................................ Arecibo, PR ............................................. Puerto Rico 1—Rincon ........................... Puerto Rico 5—Ceiba ............................. Puerto Rico 7—Culebra .......................... 2. Auction No. 60 will be the first auction to use the FCC’s Integrated Spectrum Auction System (‘‘ISAS or FCC Auction System’’), an extensive redesign of the previous auction application and bidding systems. The redesign includes FCC Form 175 application enhancements such as discrete data elements in place of freeform exhibits and improved data accuracy through automated checking of FCC Form 175 applications. Enhancements have also been made to the FCC Form 175 application search function. The auction bidding system has also been updated for easier navigation, customizable results, and improved functionality. The Bureau will release subsequent public notices that outline more specific information on these enhancements and announce schedules for demonstrations. VerDate jul<14>2003 number (for example, FCC 01–364 for the lower 700 MHz Report and Order). The Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice and related documetns are also available on the Internet at the Commission’s Website: http:// wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/60/. C C C C C .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. Frequency 710–716, 710–716, 710–716, 710–716, 710–716, 740–746 740–746 740–746 740–746 740–746 provisionally winning bids on) in any single round, and submit an upfront payment amount covering that total number of bidding units. Provisionally winning bids are bids that would become final winning bids if the auction were to close in that given round. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. C. Activity Rules 6. In order to ensure that the auction closes within a reasonable period of time, an activity rule requires bidders to bid actively throughout the auction, rather than wait until late in the auction before participating. Bidders are required to be active on a specific percentage of their current bidding eligibility during each round of the action. A bidder that does not satisfy the activity rule will either lose bidding eligibility in the next round or must use an activity rule waiver (if any remain). 7. The Bureau proposes to divide the auction into two stages, each characterized by an increased activity requirement. The auction will start in Stage One. The Bureau proposes that the auction generally will advance from Stage One to Stage Two when the auction activity level, as measured by the percentage of bidding units receiving new provisionally winning bids, is approximately twenty percent or below for three consecutive rounds of bidding. However, the Bureau further proposes that the Bureau retain the discretion to change stages unilaterally by announcement during the auction. In exercising this discretion, the Bureau will consider a variety of measures of bidder activity, including, but not limited to, the auction activity level, the percentage of licenses (as measured in bidding units) on which there are new E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6438 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 24 / Monday, February 7, 2005 / Notices bids, the number of new bids, and the percentage increase in revenue. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals. 8. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes the following activity requirements: Stage One: In each round of the first stage of the auction, a bidder desiring to maintain its current bidding eligibility is required to be active on licenses representing at least 80 percent of its current bidding eligibility. Failure to maintain the requisite activity level will result in a reduction in the bidder’s bidding eligibility in the next round of bidding (unless an activity rule waiver is used). During Stage One, a bidder’s reduced eligibility for the next round will be calculated by multiplying the bidder’s current round activity by fivemonths (5/4). Stage Two: In each round of the second stage, a bidder desiring to maintain its current bidding eligibility is required to be active on 95 percent of its current bidding eligibility. During Stage Two, a bidder’s reduced eligibility for the next round will be calculated by multiplying the bidder’s current round activity by twenty-nineteenths (20/19). 9. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals. Commenters that believe these activity rules should be modified should explain their reasoning and comment on the desirability of an alternative approach. Commenters are advised to support their claims with analyses and suggested alternative activity rules. D. Activity Rule Waivers and Reducing Eligibility 10. Use of an activity rule waiver preserves the bidder’s current bidding eligibility despite the bidder’s activity in the current round being below the required minimum level. An activity rule waiver applies to an entire round of bidding and not to a particular license. Activity rule waivers can be either proactive or automatic and are principally a mechanism for auction participants to avoid the loss of bidding eligibility in the event that exigent circumstances prevent them from placing a bid in a particular round. 11. The FCC Auction System assumes that bidders with insufficient activity would prefer to apply an activity rule waiver (if available) rather than lose bidding eligibility. Therefore the system will automatically apply a waiver at the end of any bidding round where a bidder’s activity level is below the minimum required unless: (1) The bidder has no activity rule waivers available; or (2) the bidder overides the automatic application of a waiver by VerDate jul<14>2003 21:04 Feb 04, 2005 Jkt 205001 reducing eligibility, thereby meeting the minimum requirement. Note: If a bidder has no waivers remaining and does not satisfy the required activity level, its eligibility will be permanently reduced, possibly eliminating the bidder from further bidding in the auction. 12. A bidder with insufficient activity may wish to reduce its bidding eligibility rather than use an activity rule waiver. If so, the bidder must affirmatively override the automatic waiver mechanism during the bidding round by using the ‘‘reduce eligibility‘‘ function in the FCC Auction System. In this case, the bidder’s eligiblity is permanently reduced to bring the bidder into compliance with the activity rules as described above. Once eligibility has been reduced, a bidder will not be permitted to regain its lost bidding eligibility. 13. A bidder may apply an activity rule waiver proactively as a means to keep the auction open without placing a bid. If a bidder proactively applies an activity rule waiver (using the ‘‘apply waiver’’ function in the FCC Auction System) during a bidding round in which no bids or withdrawals are submitted, the auction will remain open and the bidder’s eligibility will be preserved. An automatic waiver applied by the FCC Auction System in a round in which there are no new bids or withdrawals will not keep the auction open. Note: Applying a waiver is irreversible; once a proactive waiver is submitted that waiver cannot be unsubmitted, even if the round has not yet closed. 14. The Bureau proposes that each bidder in Auction No. 60 be provided with three activity rule waivers that may be used at the bidder’s discretion during the course of the auction as set forth above. The bureau seeks comment on proposal. E. Information Relating to Auction Delay, Suspension, or Cancellation 15. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau propose that, by public notice or by announcement during the auction, the Bureau may delay, suspend, or cancel the auction in the event of natural disaster, technical obstacle, evidence of an auction security breach, unlawful bidding activity, administrative or weather necessity, or for any other reason that affects the fair and efficient conduct of competitive bidding. In such cases, the Bureau, in its sole discretion, may elect to resume the auction starting from the beginning of the current round, resume the auction starting from some previous round, or cancel the auction in its entirety. Network interruption may PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 cause the Bureau to delay or suspend the auction. The Bureau emphasizes that exercise of this authority is solely within the discretion of the Bureau, and its use is not intended to be a substitute for situations in which bidders may wish to apply their activity rule waivers. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. III. Bidding Procedures A. Round Structure 16. The Commission will conduct Auction No. 60 over the Internet. Alternatively, telephonic bidding will also be available. The toll free telephone number through which telephonic bidding may be accessed will be provided to bidders. 17. The initial bidding schedule will be announced in a public notice to be released at least one week before the start of the auction. The simultaneous multiple-round format will consist of sequential bidding rounds, each followed by the release of round results. Details regarding the location and format of round results will be included in the same public notice. 18. The Bureau has discretion to change the bidding schedule in order to foster an auction pace that reasonably balances speed with the bidders’ need to study round results and adjust their bidding strategies. The Bureau may increase or decrease the amount of time for the bidding rounds and review rounds, or the number of rounds per day, depending upon the bidding activity level and other factors. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. B. Reserve Price or Minimum Opening Bid 19. Section 309(j) of the Communications Act calls up the Commission to prescribe methods for establishing a reasonable reserve price or a minimum opening bid amount when FCC licenses are subject to auction, unless the Commission determines that a reserve price or minimum opening bid amount is not in the public interest. Consistent with this mandate, the Commission has directed the Bureau to seek comment on the use of a minimum opening bid amount and/ or reserve price prior to the start of each auction. 20. Normally, a reserve price is an absolute minimum price below which an item will not be sold in a given auction. Reserve prices can be either published or unpublished. A minimum opening bid amount, on the other hand, is the minimum bid price set at the beginning of the auction below which no bids are accepted. It is generally used E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 24 / Monday, February 7, 2005 / Notices to accelerate the competitive bidding process. Also, the auctioneer often has the discretion to lower the minimum opening bid amount later in the auction. It is also possible for the minimum opening bid amount and the reserve price to be the same amount. 21. In light of Section 309(j)’s requirements, the Bureau proposes to establish minimum opening bid amounts for Auction No. 60. The Bureau believes a minimum opening bid amount, which has been used in other auctions, is an effective bidding tool. 22. Specifically, for Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to calculate minimum opening bid amounts on a license-by-license basis using a formula based on bandwidth and license area population: $0.01 *MHz* License Area Population with a minimum of $1,000 per license. The specific minimum opening bid amount for each license available in Auction No. 60 is set forth in Attachment A of this Public Notice. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. 23. If commenters believe that these minimum opening bid amounts will result in substantial numbers of unsold licenses, or are not reasonable amounts, or should instead operate as reserve prices, they should explain why this is so, and comment on the desirability of an alternative approach. Commenters are advised to support their claims with valuation analyses and suggested reserve prices or minimum opening bid amount levels or formulas. In establishing the minimum opening bid amounts, the Bureau particularly seeks comment on such factors as the amount of spectrum being auctioned, levels of incumbency, the availability of technology to provide service, the size of the geographic service areas, issues of interference with other spectrum bands and any other relevant factors that could reasonably have an impact on valuation of the lower 700 MHz band spectrum. The Bureau seeks comment on whether, consistent with Section 309(j), the public interest would be served by having no minimum opening bid amount or reserve price. C. Minimum Acceptable Bid Amounts and Bid Increments 24. In each round, eligible bidders will be able to place bids on a given license in any of nine different amounts. The FCC Auction System interface will list the nine acceptable bid amounts for each license. 25. The minimum acceptable bid amount for a license will be equal to its minimum opening bid amount until there is a provisionally winning bid for the license. After there is a provisionally VerDate jul<14>2003 21:04 Feb 04, 2005 Jkt 205001 winning bid for a license, the minimum acceptable bid amount for that license will be equal to the amount of the provisionally winning bid plus an additional amount. The minimum acceptable bid amount will be calculated by multiplying the provisionally winning bid amount times one plus an increment percentage—e.g., if the increment percentage is 10 percent, the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal (provisionally winning bid amount) * (1.10), rounded. The Bureau will round the result using our standard rounding procedures. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to use a bid increment of 10 percent. This means that the minimum acceptable bid amount for a license will be approximately 10 percent greater than the provisionally winning bid amount for the license. 26. The nine acceptable bid amounts for each license consist of the minimum acceptable bid amount and additional amounts calculated using the minimum acceptable bid amount and the bid increment percentage. The Bureau will round the results using our standard rounding procedures. The first additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid amount times one plus the bid increment percentage, rounded—e.g., if the increment percentage is 10 percent, the calculation is (minimum acceptable bid amount) * (1 + 0.10), rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.10, rounded; the second additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid amount times one plus two times the bid increment percentage, rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.20, rounded; the third additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid amount times one plus three times the bid increment percentage, rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.30, rounded; etc. 27. In the case of a license for which the provisionally winning bid has been withdrawn, the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal the second highest bid received for the license. 28. The Bureau retains the discretion to change the minimum acceptable bid amounts and bid increments if it determines that circumstances so dictate. The Bureau will do so by announcement in the FCC Auction System. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals. D. Provisionally Winning Bids 29. At the end of a bidding round, a provisionally winning bid amount for each license will be determined based on the highest bid amount received for PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6439 the license. In the event of identical high bid amounts being submitted on a license in a given round (e.g., tied bids), the Bureau proposes to use a random number generator to select a single provisionally winning bid from among the tied bids. If the auction were to end with no higher bids being placed for that license, the winning bidder would be the one that placed the selected provisionally winning bid. However, the remaining bidders, as well as the provisionally winning bidder, can submit higher bids in subsequent rounds. If any bids are received on the license in a subsequent round, the provisionally winning bid again will be determined by the highest bid amount received for the license. 30. A provisionally winning bid will remain the provisionally bid until there is a higher bid on the same license at the close of a subsequent round. Bidders are reminded that provisionally winning bids confer credit for activity. E. Information Regarding Bid Withdrawal and Bid Removal 31. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes the following bid removal and bid withdrawal procedures. Before the close of a bidding round, a bidder has the option of removing any bid placed in that round. By removing selected bids in the FCC Auction System, a bidder may effectively ‘‘unsubmit’’ any bid placed within that round. A bidder removing a bid placed in the same round is not subject to a withdrawal payment. Once a round closes, a bidder may no longer remove a bid. 32. A bidder may withdraw its provisionally winning bids using the ‘‘withdraw bids’’ function in the FCC Auction System. A bidder that withdraws its provisionally winning bid(s) is subject to the bid withdrawal payment provisions of the Commission rules. The Bureau seeks comment on these bid removal and bid withdrawal procedures. 33. In the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission explained that allowing bid withdrawals facilitates efficient aggregation of licenses and the pursuit of efficient backup strategies as information becomes available during the course of an auction. The Commission noted, however, that, in some instances, bidders may seek to withdraw bids for improper reasons. The Bureau, therefore, has discretion, in managing the auction, to limit the number of withdrawals to prevent any bidding abuses. The Commission stated that the Bureau should assertively exercise its discretion, consider limiting the number of rounds in which bidders may withdraw bids, and prevent bidders E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1 6440 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 24 / Monday, February 7, 2005 / Notices from bidding on a particular market if the Bureau finds that a bidder is abusing the Commission’s bid withdrawal procedures. 34. Applying this reasoning, the Bureau proposes to limit each bidder in Auction No. 60 to withdrawing provisionally winning bids in no more than one round during the course of the auction. To permit a bidder to withdraw bids in more than one round may encourage insincere bidding or the use of withdrawals for anti-competitive purposes. The round in which withdrawals may be used will be at the bidder’s discretion; withdrawals otherwise must be in accordance with the Commission’s rules. There is no limit on the number of provisionally winning bids that may be withdrawn in the round in which withdrawals are used. Withdrawals will remain subject to the bid withdrawal payment provisions specified in the Commission’s rules. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal. F. Stopping Rule 35. The Bureau has discretion ‘‘to establish stopping rules before or during multiple round auctions in order to terminate the auction within a reasonable time.’’ For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to employ a simultaneous stopping rule approach. A simultaneous stopping rule means that all licenses remain available for bidding until bidding closes simultaneously on all licenses. 36. Bidding will close simultaneously on all licenses after the first round in which no bidder submits any new bids, applies a proactive waiver, or places any withdrawals. Thus, unless circumstances dictate otherwise, bidding will remain open on all licenses until bidding stops on every license. 37. However, the Bureau proposes to retain the discretion to exercise any of the following options during Auction No. 60: i. Use a modified version of the simultaneous stopping rule. The modified stopping rule would close the auction for all licenses after the first round in which no bidder applies a waiver, places a withdrawal or submits any new bids on any license for which it is not the provisionally winning bidder. Thus, absent any other bidding activity, a bidder placing a new bid on a license for which it is the provisionally winning bidder would not keep the auction open under this modified stopping rule. The Bureau further seeks comment on whether this modified stopping rule should be used at any time or only in stage two of the suction. VerDate jul<14>2003 21:04 Feb 04, 2005 Jkt 205001 ii. Keep the auction open even if no bidder submits any new bids, applies a waiver or places any withdrawals. In this event, the effect will be the same as if a bidder had applied a waiver. The activity rule, therefore, will apply as usual and a bidder with insufficient activity will either lose bidding eligibility or use a remaining activity rule waiver. iii. Declare that the auction will end after a specified number of additional rounds (‘‘special stopping rule’’). If the Bureau invokes this special stopping rule, it will accept bids in the specified final round(s) and the auction will close. 38. The Bureau proposes to exercise these options only in certain circumstances, for example, where the auction is proceeding very slowly, there is minimal overall bidding activity, or it appears likely that the auction will not close within a reasonable period of time. Before exercising these options, the Bureau is likely to attempt to increase the pace of the auction by, for example, increasing the number of bidding rounds per day, and/or increasing the amount of the minimum bid increments for the limited number of licenses where there is still a high level of bidding activity. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals. IV. Conclusion 39. Comments are due on or before February 11, 2005, and reply comments are due on or before February 18, 2005. Because of the disruption of regular mail and other deliveries in Washington, DC, the Bureau requires that all comments and reply comments be filed electronically. Comments and reply comments, and copies of material filed with the Commission pertaining to Auction No. 60, must be sent by electronic mail to the following address: auction60@fcc.gov. The electronic mail containing the comments or reply comments must include a subject or caption referring to Auction No. 60 Comments and the name of the commenting party. The Bureau requests that parties format any attachments to electronic mail as Adobe Acrobat  (pdf) or Microsoft  Word documents. Copies of comments and reply comments will be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Room CY–B402, 445 12 Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554, and will also be posted on the Web page for Auction No. 60 at http:// wireless.fcc.gov/auctions. 40. This proceeding has been designated as a ‘‘permit-but-disclose’’ proceeding in accordance with the PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Commission’s ex parte rules. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one or two sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required. Other rules pertaining to oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings are set forth in § 1.1206(b) of the Commission’s rules. Federal Communications Commission Gary D. Michaels, Deputy Chief, Auction and Spectrum Access Division, WTB. [FR Doc. 05–2271 Filed 2–4–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–M FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [Report No. 2691] Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding January 31, 2005. Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification have been filed in the Commission’s Rulemaking proceeding listed in this Public Notice and published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). The full text of this document is available for viewing and copying in Room CY–B402, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC or may be purchased from the Commission’s copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI) (1– 800–378–3160). Oppositions to these petitions must be filed by February 22, 2005. See § 1.4(b)(1) of the Commission’s rules (47 CFR 1.4(b)(1)). Replies to an opposition must be filed within 10 days after the time for filing oppositions have expired. Subject: In the Matter of Dismissed Modification Application for WHR901, Florida Atlantic University, Boynton Beach, Florida (WT Docket No. 03–66). Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150–2162 and 2500–2690 MHz Bands (WT Docket No. 03–66, RM–10586). Part 1 of the Commission’s Rules— Further Competitive Bidding Procedures (WT Docket No. 03–67). Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Enable Multipoint Distribution Service and the Instructional Television Fixed Service Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Engage in Fixed Two-Way E:\FR\FM\07FEN1.SGM 07FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 24 (Monday, February 7, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6436-6440]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-2271]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.

[Report No. AUC-05-60 (Auction No. 60); DA 05-171]


Auction of Lower 700 MHZ Band Licenses Scheduled for July 20, 
2005 Comment Sought On Reserve Prices OR Minimum Opening Bids and Other 
Procedures for Auction No. 60

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document announces the auction of five licenses in the 
lower 700 MHz band C Block (710-716/740-746 MHz) licenses scheduled to 
commence on July 20, 2005 (Auction No. 60). This document also seeks 
comment on reserve prices or minimum opening bids and other procedures 
for Auction No. 60.

DATES: Comments are due on or before February 11, 2005, and reply 
comments are due on or before February 18, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments and reply comments must be sent by electronic mail 
to the following address: auction60 @fcc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal questions: Howard Davenport 
(202) 418-0660. For general auction questions: Roy Knowles or Lisa 
Stover at (717) 338-2888. For service rule questions, contact the 
Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, as follows: Erin 
McGrath, Keith Harper, or JoAnn Epps at (202) 418-0620.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Public 
Notice released January 26, 2005 Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice. 
The complete text of the Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice, 
including attachments and any related Commission documents is available 
for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the 
FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., 
Room CY-A257,

[[Page 6437]]

Washington, DC 20554. The Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice and 
related Commission documents may also be purchased from the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. 
(BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC, 
20554, telephone 202-488-5300, facsimile 202-488-5563, or you may 
contact BCPI at its Website: http://www.BCPIWEB.com. When ordering 
documents from BCPI, please provide the appropriate FCC document number 
(for example, FCC 01-364 for the lower 700 MHz Report and Order). The 
Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice and related documetns are also 
available on the Internet at the Commission's Website: http://
wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/60/.

I. General Information

    1. By the Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice, the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau (``Bureau'') announces the auction of lower 
700 MHz band licenses, scheduled to commence on July 20, 2005 (auction 
No. 60). This auction will include the C Block Metropolitan Statistical 
Area (MSA) and Rural Service Area (RSA) licenses that remain unsold in 
Auction No. 49, which closed on June 13, 2003. The C block is a 12-
megahertz spectrum block, consisting of a pair of 6-megahertz segments. 
A complete list of licenses available for Auction No. 60 is set forth 
both below and in Attachment A of Auction No. 60 Comment Public Notice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Market no.                Market name            License no.           Block            Frequency
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CMA169.......................  Mayaguez, PR.........  WZ-CMA169-C..........  C............      710-716, 740-746
CMA202.......................  Arecibo, PR..........  WZ-CMA202-C..........  C............      710-716, 740-746
CMA723.......................  Puerto Rico 1--Rincon  WZ-CMA723-C..........  C............      710-716, 740-746
CMA727.......................  Puerto Rico 5--Ceiba.  WZ-CMA727-C..........  C............      710-716, 740-746
CMA729.......................  Puerto Rico 7--        WZ-CMA729-C..........  C............      710-716, 740-746
                                Culebra.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Auction No. 60 will be the first auction to use the FCC's 
Integrated Spectrum Auction System (``ISAS or FCC Auction System''), an 
extensive redesign of the previous auction application and bidding 
systems. The redesign includes FCC Form 175 application enhancements 
such as discrete data elements in place of free-form exhibits and 
improved data accuracy through automated checking of FCC Form 175 
applications. Enhancements have also been made to the FCC Form 175 
application search function. The auction bidding system has also been 
updated for easier navigation, customizable results, and improved 
functionality. The Bureau will release subsequent public notices that 
outline more specific information on these enhancements and announce 
schedules for demonstrations.

II. Auction Structure

A. Simultaneous Multiple-Round Auction Design

    3. The Bureau proposes to award licenses included in Auction No. 
60- in a simultaneous multiple-round auction. This methodology offers 
every license for bid at the same time with successive bidding rounds 
in which bidders may place bids on individual licenses. The Bureau 
seeks comment on this proposal.

B. Upfront Payment and Bidding Eligibility

    4. The Bureau has delegated authority and discretion to determine 
an appropriate upfront payment for each license being auctioned, taking 
into account such factors as the population in each geographic license 
area and the value of similar spectrum. The upfront payment is a 
refundable deposit by each bidder to establish eligibility to bid on 
licenses. Upfront payments related to the specific spectrum subject to 
auction protect against frivolous or insincere bidding and provide the 
Commission with a source of funds from which to collect payments owed 
at the close of the auction. With these guidelines in mind for Auction 
No. 60, the Bureau proposes to calculate upfront payments on a license-
by-license basis using a formula based on bandwidth and license area 
population:
    $0.005 * MHz * License Area Population with a minimum of $1,000 per 
license. The specific proposed upfront payment for each license 
available in Auction No. 60 is set forth in Attachment A. The Bureau 
seeks comment on this proposal.
    5. The Bureau further proposes that the amount of the upfront 
payment submitted by a bidder will determine the maximum number of 
bidding units on which a bidder may place bids. This limit is a 
bidder's initial bidding eligibility. Each license is assigned a 
specific number of bidding units equal to the upfront payment on a 
bidding unit per dollar basis. Bidding units for a given license do not 
change as prices rise during the auction. A bidder's upfront payment is 
not attributed to specific licenses. Rather, a bidder may place bids on 
any combination of licenses as long as the total number of bidding 
units associated with those licenses does not exceed its current 
eligibility. Eligibility cannot be increased during the auction; it can 
only remain the same or decrease. Thus, in calculating its upfront 
payment amount, an applicant must determine the maximum number of 
bidding units it may wish to bid on (or hold provisionally winning bids 
on) in any single round, and submit an upfront payment amount covering 
that total number of bidding units. Provisionally winning bids are bids 
that would become final winning bids if the auction were to close in 
that given round. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal.

C. Activity Rules

    6. In order to ensure that the auction closes within a reasonable 
period of time, an activity rule requires bidders to bid actively 
throughout the auction, rather than wait until late in the auction 
before participating. Bidders are required to be active on a specific 
percentage of their current bidding eligibility during each round of 
the action. A bidder that does not satisfy the activity rule will 
either lose bidding eligibility in the next round or must use an 
activity rule waiver (if any remain).
    7. The Bureau proposes to divide the auction into two stages, each 
characterized by an increased activity requirement. The auction will 
start in Stage One. The Bureau proposes that the auction generally will 
advance from Stage One to Stage Two when the auction activity level, as 
measured by the percentage of bidding units receiving new provisionally 
winning bids, is approximately twenty percent or below for three 
consecutive rounds of bidding. However, the Bureau further proposes 
that the Bureau retain the discretion to change stages unilaterally by 
announcement during the auction. In exercising this discretion, the 
Bureau will consider a variety of measures of bidder activity, 
including, but not limited to, the auction activity level, the 
percentage of licenses (as measured in bidding units) on which there 
are new

[[Page 6438]]

bids, the number of new bids, and the percentage increase in revenue. 
The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals.
    8. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes the following activity 
requirements: Stage One: In each round of the first stage of the 
auction, a bidder desiring to maintain its current bidding eligibility 
is required to be active on licenses representing at least 80 percent 
of its current bidding eligibility. Failure to maintain the requisite 
activity level will result in a reduction in the bidder's bidding 
eligibility in the next round of bidding (unless an activity rule 
waiver is used). During Stage One, a bidder's reduced eligibility for 
the next round will be calculated by multiplying the bidder's current 
round activity by five-months (5/4).
    Stage Two: In each round of the second stage, a bidder desiring to 
maintain its current bidding eligibility is required to be active on 95 
percent of its current bidding eligibility. During Stage Two, a 
bidder's reduced eligibility for the next round will be calculated by 
multiplying the bidder's current round activity by twenty-nineteenths 
(20/19).
    9. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals. Commenters that 
believe these activity rules should be modified should explain their 
reasoning and comment on the desirability of an alternative approach. 
Commenters are advised to support their claims with analyses and 
suggested alternative activity rules.

D. Activity Rule Waivers and Reducing Eligibility

    10. Use of an activity rule waiver preserves the bidder's current 
bidding eligibility despite the bidder's activity in the current round 
being below the required minimum level. An activity rule waiver applies 
to an entire round of bidding and not to a particular license. Activity 
rule waivers can be either proactive or automatic and are principally a 
mechanism for auction participants to avoid the loss of bidding 
eligibility in the event that exigent circumstances prevent them from 
placing a bid in a particular round.
    11. The FCC Auction System assumes that bidders with insufficient 
activity would prefer to apply an activity rule waiver (if available) 
rather than lose bidding eligibility. Therefore the system will 
automatically apply a waiver at the end of any bidding round where a 
bidder's activity level is below the minimum required unless: (1) The 
bidder has no activity rule waivers available; or (2) the bidder 
overides the automatic application of a waiver by reducing eligibility, 
thereby meeting the minimum requirement.

    Note: If a bidder has no waivers remaining and does not satisfy 
the required activity level, its eligibility will be permanently 
reduced, possibly eliminating the bidder from further bidding in the 
auction.

    12. A bidder with insufficient activity may wish to reduce its 
bidding eligibility rather than use an activity rule waiver. If so, the 
bidder must affirmatively override the automatic waiver mechanism 
during the bidding round by using the ``reduce eligibility`` function 
in the FCC Auction System. In this case, the bidder's eligiblity is 
permanently reduced to bring the bidder into compliance with the 
activity rules as described above. Once eligibility has been reduced, a 
bidder will not be permitted to regain its lost bidding eligibility.
    13. A bidder may apply an activity rule waiver proactively as a 
means to keep the auction open without placing a bid. If a bidder 
proactively applies an activity rule waiver (using the ``apply waiver'' 
function in the FCC Auction System) during a bidding round in which no 
bids or withdrawals are submitted, the auction will remain open and the 
bidder's eligibility will be preserved. An automatic waiver applied by 
the FCC Auction System in a round in which there are no new bids or 
withdrawals will not keep the auction open.

    Note:  Applying a waiver is irreversible; once a proactive 
waiver is submitted that waiver cannot be unsubmitted, even if the 
round has not yet closed.

    14. The Bureau proposes that each bidder in Auction No. 60 be 
provided with three activity rule waivers that may be used at the 
bidder's discretion during the course of the auction as set forth 
above. The bureau seeks comment on proposal.

E. Information Relating to Auction Delay, Suspension, or Cancellation

    15. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau propose that, by public notice 
or by announcement during the auction, the Bureau may delay, suspend, 
or cancel the auction in the event of natural disaster, technical 
obstacle, evidence of an auction security breach, unlawful bidding 
activity, administrative or weather necessity, or for any other reason 
that affects the fair and efficient conduct of competitive bidding. In 
such cases, the Bureau, in its sole discretion, may elect to resume the 
auction starting from the beginning of the current round, resume the 
auction starting from some previous round, or cancel the auction in its 
entirety. Network interruption may cause the Bureau to delay or suspend 
the auction. The Bureau emphasizes that exercise of this authority is 
solely within the discretion of the Bureau, and its use is not intended 
to be a substitute for situations in which bidders may wish to apply 
their activity rule waivers. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal.

III. Bidding Procedures

A. Round Structure

    16. The Commission will conduct Auction No. 60 over the Internet. 
Alternatively, telephonic bidding will also be available. The toll free 
telephone number through which telephonic bidding may be accessed will 
be provided to bidders.
    17. The initial bidding schedule will be announced in a public 
notice to be released at least one week before the start of the 
auction. The simultaneous multiple-round format will consist of 
sequential bidding rounds, each followed by the release of round 
results. Details regarding the location and format of round results 
will be included in the same public notice.
    18. The Bureau has discretion to change the bidding schedule in 
order to foster an auction pace that reasonably balances speed with the 
bidders' need to study round results and adjust their bidding 
strategies. The Bureau may increase or decrease the amount of time for 
the bidding rounds and review rounds, or the number of rounds per day, 
depending upon the bidding activity level and other factors. The Bureau 
seeks comment on this proposal.

B. Reserve Price or Minimum Opening Bid

    19. Section 309(j) of the Communications Act calls up the 
Commission to prescribe methods for establishing a reasonable reserve 
price or a minimum opening bid amount when FCC licenses are subject to 
auction, unless the Commission determines that a reserve price or 
minimum opening bid amount is not in the public interest. Consistent 
with this mandate, the Commission has directed the Bureau to seek 
comment on the use of a minimum opening bid amount and/or reserve price 
prior to the start of each auction.
    20. Normally, a reserve price is an absolute minimum price below 
which an item will not be sold in a given auction. Reserve prices can 
be either published or unpublished. A minimum opening bid amount, on 
the other hand, is the minimum bid price set at the beginning of the 
auction below which no bids are accepted. It is generally used

[[Page 6439]]

to accelerate the competitive bidding process. Also, the auctioneer 
often has the discretion to lower the minimum opening bid amount later 
in the auction. It is also possible for the minimum opening bid amount 
and the reserve price to be the same amount.
    21. In light of Section 309(j)'s requirements, the Bureau proposes 
to establish minimum opening bid amounts for Auction No. 60. The Bureau 
believes a minimum opening bid amount, which has been used in other 
auctions, is an effective bidding tool.
    22. Specifically, for Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to 
calculate minimum opening bid amounts on a license-by-license basis 
using a formula based on bandwidth and license area population:
    $0.01 *MHz* License Area Population with a minimum of $1,000 per 
license. The specific minimum opening bid amount for each license 
available in Auction No. 60 is set forth in Attachment A of this Public 
Notice. The Bureau seeks comment on this proposal.
    23. If commenters believe that these minimum opening bid amounts 
will result in substantial numbers of unsold licenses, or are not 
reasonable amounts, or should instead operate as reserve prices, they 
should explain why this is so, and comment on the desirability of an 
alternative approach. Commenters are advised to support their claims 
with valuation analyses and suggested reserve prices or minimum opening 
bid amount levels or formulas. In establishing the minimum opening bid 
amounts, the Bureau particularly seeks comment on such factors as the 
amount of spectrum being auctioned, levels of incumbency, the 
availability of technology to provide service, the size of the 
geographic service areas, issues of interference with other spectrum 
bands and any other relevant factors that could reasonably have an 
impact on valuation of the lower 700 MHz band spectrum. The Bureau 
seeks comment on whether, consistent with Section 309(j), the public 
interest would be served by having no minimum opening bid amount or 
reserve price.

C. Minimum Acceptable Bid Amounts and Bid Increments

    24. In each round, eligible bidders will be able to place bids on a 
given license in any of nine different amounts. The FCC Auction System 
interface will list the nine acceptable bid amounts for each license.
    25. The minimum acceptable bid amount for a license will be equal 
to its minimum opening bid amount until there is a provisionally 
winning bid for the license. After there is a provisionally winning bid 
for a license, the minimum acceptable bid amount for that license will 
be equal to the amount of the provisionally winning bid plus an 
additional amount. The minimum acceptable bid amount will be calculated 
by multiplying the provisionally winning bid amount times one plus an 
increment percentage--e.g., if the increment percentage is 10 percent, 
the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal (provisionally winning bid 
amount) * (1.10), rounded. The Bureau will round the result using our 
standard rounding procedures. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes 
to use a bid increment of 10 percent. This means that the minimum 
acceptable bid amount for a license will be approximately 10 percent 
greater than the provisionally winning bid amount for the license.
    26. The nine acceptable bid amounts for each license consist of the 
minimum acceptable bid amount and additional amounts calculated using 
the minimum acceptable bid amount and the bid increment percentage. The 
Bureau will round the results using our standard rounding procedures. 
The first additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum 
acceptable bid amount times one plus the bid increment percentage, 
rounded--e.g., if the increment percentage is 10 percent, the 
calculation is (minimum acceptable bid amount) * (1 + 0.10), rounded, 
or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.10, rounded; the second 
additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid 
amount times one plus two times the bid increment percentage, rounded, 
or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.20, rounded; the third 
additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid 
amount times one plus three times the bid increment percentage, 
rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.30, rounded; etc.
    27. In the case of a license for which the provisionally winning 
bid has been withdrawn, the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal 
the second highest bid received for the license.
    28. The Bureau retains the discretion to change the minimum 
acceptable bid amounts and bid increments if it determines that 
circumstances so dictate. The Bureau will do so by announcement in the 
FCC Auction System. The Bureau seeks comment on these proposals.

D. Provisionally Winning Bids

    29. At the end of a bidding round, a provisionally winning bid 
amount for each license will be determined based on the highest bid 
amount received for the license. In the event of identical high bid 
amounts being submitted on a license in a given round (e.g., tied 
bids), the Bureau proposes to use a random number generator to select a 
single provisionally winning bid from among the tied bids. If the 
auction were to end with no higher bids being placed for that license, 
the winning bidder would be the one that placed the selected 
provisionally winning bid. However, the remaining bidders, as well as 
the provisionally winning bidder, can submit higher bids in subsequent 
rounds. If any bids are received on the license in a subsequent round, 
the provisionally winning bid again will be determined by the highest 
bid amount received for the license.
    30. A provisionally winning bid will remain the provisionally bid 
until there is a higher bid on the same license at the close of a 
subsequent round. Bidders are reminded that provisionally winning bids 
confer credit for activity.

E. Information Regarding Bid Withdrawal and Bid Removal

    31. For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes the following bid 
removal and bid withdrawal procedures. Before the close of a bidding 
round, a bidder has the option of removing any bid placed in that 
round. By removing selected bids in the FCC Auction System, a bidder 
may effectively ``unsubmit'' any bid placed within that round. A bidder 
removing a bid placed in the same round is not subject to a withdrawal 
payment. Once a round closes, a bidder may no longer remove a bid.
    32. A bidder may withdraw its provisionally winning bids using the 
``withdraw bids'' function in the FCC Auction System. A bidder that 
withdraws its provisionally winning bid(s) is subject to the bid 
withdrawal payment provisions of the Commission rules. The Bureau seeks 
comment on these bid removal and bid withdrawal procedures.
    33. In the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission explained 
that allowing bid withdrawals facilitates efficient aggregation of 
licenses and the pursuit of efficient backup strategies as information 
becomes available during the course of an auction. The Commission 
noted, however, that, in some instances, bidders may seek to withdraw 
bids for improper reasons. The Bureau, therefore, has discretion, in 
managing the auction, to limit the number of withdrawals to prevent any 
bidding abuses. The Commission stated that the Bureau should 
assertively exercise its discretion, consider limiting the number of 
rounds in which bidders may withdraw bids, and prevent bidders

[[Page 6440]]

from bidding on a particular market if the Bureau finds that a bidder 
is abusing the Commission's bid withdrawal procedures.
    34. Applying this reasoning, the Bureau proposes to limit each 
bidder in Auction No. 60 to withdrawing provisionally winning bids in 
no more than one round during the course of the auction. To permit a 
bidder to withdraw bids in more than one round may encourage insincere 
bidding or the use of withdrawals for anti-competitive purposes. The 
round in which withdrawals may be used will be at the bidder's 
discretion; withdrawals otherwise must be in accordance with the 
Commission's rules. There is no limit on the number of provisionally 
winning bids that may be withdrawn in the round in which withdrawals 
are used. Withdrawals will remain subject to the bid withdrawal payment 
provisions specified in the Commission's rules. The Bureau seeks 
comment on this proposal.

F. Stopping Rule

    35. The Bureau has discretion ``to establish stopping rules before 
or during multiple round auctions in order to terminate the auction 
within a reasonable time.'' For Auction No. 60, the Bureau proposes to 
employ a simultaneous stopping rule approach. A simultaneous stopping 
rule means that all licenses remain available for bidding until bidding 
closes simultaneously on all licenses.
    36. Bidding will close simultaneously on all licenses after the 
first round in which no bidder submits any new bids, applies a 
proactive waiver, or places any withdrawals. Thus, unless circumstances 
dictate otherwise, bidding will remain open on all licenses until 
bidding stops on every license.
    37. However, the Bureau proposes to retain the discretion to 
exercise any of the following options during Auction No. 60:
    i. Use a modified version of the simultaneous stopping rule. The 
modified stopping rule would close the auction for all licenses after 
the first round in which no bidder applies a waiver, places a 
withdrawal or submits any new bids on any license for which it is not 
the provisionally winning bidder. Thus, absent any other bidding 
activity, a bidder placing a new bid on a license for which it is the 
provisionally winning bidder would not keep the auction open under this 
modified stopping rule. The Bureau further seeks comment on whether 
this modified stopping rule should be used at any time or only in stage 
two of the suction.
    ii. Keep the auction open even if no bidder submits any new bids, 
applies a waiver or places any withdrawals. In this event, the effect 
will be the same as if a bidder had applied a waiver. The activity 
rule, therefore, will apply as usual and a bidder with insufficient 
activity will either lose bidding eligibility or use a remaining 
activity rule waiver.
    iii. Declare that the auction will end after a specified number of 
additional rounds (``special stopping rule''). If the Bureau invokes 
this special stopping rule, it will accept bids in the specified final 
round(s) and the auction will close.
    38. The Bureau proposes to exercise these options only in certain 
circumstances, for example, where the auction is proceeding very 
slowly, there is minimal overall bidding activity, or it appears likely 
that the auction will not close within a reasonable period of time. 
Before exercising these options, the Bureau is likely to attempt to 
increase the pace of the auction by, for example, increasing the number 
of bidding rounds per day, and/or increasing the amount of the minimum 
bid increments for the limited number of licenses where there is still 
a high level of bidding activity. The Bureau seeks comment on these 
proposals.

IV. Conclusion

    39. Comments are due on or before February 11, 2005, and reply 
comments are due on or before February 18, 2005. Because of the 
disruption of regular mail and other deliveries in Washington, DC, the 
Bureau requires that all comments and reply comments be filed 
electronically. Comments and reply comments, and copies of material 
filed with the Commission pertaining to Auction No. 60, must be sent by 
electronic mail to the following address: auction60@fcc.gov. The 
electronic mail containing the comments or reply comments must include 
a subject or caption referring to Auction No. 60 Comments and the name 
of the commenting party. The Bureau requests that parties format any 
attachments to electronic mail as Adobe[supreg] Acrobat [supreg] (pdf) 
or Microsoft [supreg] Word documents. Copies of comments and reply 
comments will be available for public inspection during regular 
business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Room CY-B402, 
445 12 Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554, and will also be posted on 
the Web page for Auction No. 60 at http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions.
    40. This proceeding has been designated as a ``permit-but-
disclose'' proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte 
rules. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that 
memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the 
substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects 
discussed. More than a one or two sentence description of the views and 
arguments presented is generally required. Other rules pertaining to 
oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose 
proceedings are set forth in Sec.  1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.

Federal Communications Commission
Gary D. Michaels,
Deputy Chief, Auction and Spectrum Access Division, WTB.
[FR Doc. 05-2271 Filed 2-4-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-M