The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its intention to auction off airspace in the 600 MHz band to cellular internet providers and other companies back in 2017. The news raised questions from the public, particularly media professionals, because the move will make 600 MHz unavailable for consumer wireless microphone usage.
This FCC auction impacts the 600 MHz band, specifically 614-698 MHz. For wireless microphone consumers, this means that many ultra high frequency (UHF) channels will be illegal to use in the near future. While the timing of the deployment was set to be July 13, 2020, the fine print also states that the space will be immediately unavailable when the auction winner starts using it.
2019 Update: Auction Results and Winning Bidders
After the bidding closed on March 30, 2017, the incentive auction yielded $19.8 billion in revenue, which includes $10.05 billion for winning broadcast bidders and over $7 billion for deficit reduction. You may visit the FCC’s Incentive Auction Dashboard to get updates on the process, as well as information about the winning bidders.
Some of the new owners have already started changing the airwaves—one of the auction participants, T-Mobile, has huge plans to make use of it right away.
With less than a year left of the transition period, we compiled a list of popular questions and answers below to help you understand and get ready for the changes.