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Target date for incentive auction: March 29, 2016

The world’s most complex auction of wireless spectrum now has a target date: March 29, 2016.

The date was revealed in the description of the auction bidding procedures, one of the two items the Federal Communications Commissions postponed last Thursday and rescheduled for its next meeting August 6.

With an end date, the rest of the schedule begins to roughly fall into place, wrote broadcast attorney David Oxenford, a partner with Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.

“If the incentive auction does in fact go forward as set out in this document in March of next year, the preliminary filings by broadcasters and wireless companies expressing intent to participate in the auction could be due late this year or very early next year, though obviously we don’t know those dates yet,” Oxenford wrote.

Things could change, but FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has shown no signs of deviating from his auction time line. “I remain committed to achieving our goal of beginning the auction in the first quarter of 2016,” he wrote in a July 16 blog post.

No doubt Wheeler’s determination is driving such a jam-packed agenda for the Aug. 6 meeting. In addition to promptly rescheduling the two contentious agenda items (mobile spectrum holding and incentive auction procedures), Wheeler also placed two related auction items on the Aug. 6 agenda: unlinked operations in the TV bands, and wireless microphones, the subject of the blog post.