The FCC has provided insight into the window for auctioning the H block spectrum.
In a public notice issued Monday, the commission sought comment on that auction, which will free up 10 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband. The FCC last held a wireless spectrum auction in 2008.
The commission, by statute, has to auction that spectrum by February 2015 -- the same statute that created the broadcast incentive auctions. It wants input on, among other things, including the auction design, structure and procedures, as well as eligibility
In the notice the commission signaled it might be able to auction it as early as Jan. 14, 2014, but was making no promises, saying somewhat cryptically that the auction will be "by or as early as" that Jan. 14 date.
The notice follows the commission's decision to approve the rules of the road for opening up more spectrum for mobile broadband in the H band, which came in acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn's first public meeting last month.
Commissioner Ajit Pai said he hoped that the auction could begin by that January date. "I encourage commenters to provide comprehensive feedback so that there is a robust record upon which to issue final auction procedures, and I hope that we will commence the H Block auction on Jan. 14, 2014."