With 13-days-to-go-and-counting, Auction 79 is looming large. The Commission has issued a notice: (a) reminding everybody about deadlines and procedures; and (b) identifying the 77 bidders who have made it through to the preliminary maze and are now qualified to participate in the auction, as well as the 44 applicants who failed to make the cut for one reason or another.

Registration materials are being sent to the 77 qualified bidders. If you are in that group and have not received those materials by 12 noon (ET) on Wednesday, August 26, then you’d better get on the horn to the FCC’s Auctions Hotline directly at (717) 338-2868 pronto. You can’t bid unless you have those materials in hand, and the Commission has made it clear that it’s the bidder’s responsibility to be sure that those materials arrive.

The Commission will conduct a mock auction starting on August 28 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). It’s open to all qualified bidders. If you’re a neophyte or tyro at this whole broadcast auction process, the Commission recommends that you take a whirl at the mock auction. The mock auction will be conducted just like a real auction, except it will involve only 20 of the available 120 CP’s, and each bidder will be assumed to have applied for (and to have thrown in up-front payments sufficient to cover) all 20 CPs.

The Real Deal Auction itself is still set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, September 1. Each of the first four rounds will last an hour, and there will be a one-hour break between each. (In other words, Round 1 runs from 10:00-11:00 a.m.; Round 2 goes from 12 Noon-1:00 p.m.; Round 3 goes from 2:00-3:00 p.m.; and Round 4 goes from 4:00-5:00 p.m.) The timing of later rounds will be determined by the Commission based on the progress of the auction. Changes in scheduling will be announced through the FCC Auction System.

Caution: As we have reminded Auction 79 participants before, the anti-collusion rules are in effect, and will continue to be in effect until further explicit notice from the Commission.