We have been reporting that the conditions which the FCC has attached to the D Block in the upcoming 700 MHz auction have made the block less attractive to potential bidders.
The D Block is the nationwide 10 MHz band which gets shared with the public safety licensee in emergencies and also must build out the public safety network at its own expense, in exchange for non-priority access to that band.)
Frontline had argued that the FCC should permit the D Block to be resold without regard to the "material relationship" rules that would normally preclude a Designated Entity from reselling or sharing more than 50% of its spectrum.
Although it claimed to be acting "on its own motion" rather than in response toFrontline’s petition for reconsideration, the Commission granted Frontline partial relief by allowing resales and other bulk arrangements to exceed 50% without violating the rule. However, they also stressed that the 25% material relationship rule would continue to apply. That is, if the D Block licensee resells or has bulk arrangements with a single entity for more than 25% of its spectrum, that entity’s revenues are counted in determining whether the D Block licensee remains entitled to a Designated Entity discount.
The full text of the order can be found here.