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Innovative FCC Incentive Auction Selected as Finalist for Global INFORMS Analytics Award

NCI supports world’s first two-sided spectrum auction with custom optimization software and operations research

RESTON, Va., — NCI, Inc., a leading provider of advanced information technology solutions and professional services to U.S. Federal Government agencies, announced today that its customer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is one of only six global finalists for the INFORMS 2018 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The FCC is being recognized for its “revolutionary approach” to completing the world’s first two-sided spectrum auction, which used advanced mathematical programming techniques, custom heuristics, numerical analyses and geospatial visualizations created by NCI. The NCI solution enabled the FCC’s evaluation of complex and computationally challenging interference protections, as well as the design, implementation and successful outcome of the highly complex auction.

“Conducting the world’s first two-sided incentive auction was a major accomplishment for the FCC, and the work done by the operations research team formed the backbone of this complex auction,” said Paul A. Dillahay, NCI president and CEO. “NCI is proud to have supported the FCC on its ground-breaking incentive auction with an on-site team providing the essential techniques that were utilized.”

For the two-sided auction, the FCC purchased low-band electromagnetic spectrum from television broadcasters, then repurposed the spectrum to meet the exploding demand from wireless providers. The remaining broadcasters were assigned to new channels in the other TV broadcast bands. INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics, called this program a “revolutionary contribution” to communications.

The auction generated $20 billion from a variety of bidders, including T-Mobile, which spent approximately $8 billion on licenses across the United States to increase its network capacity throughout the country.

The INFORMS Franz Edelman competition recognizes outstanding examples of analytics and operations research projects that transform companies, entire industries and people’s lives. Using innovative advanced analytical methods, the honorees were instrumental in helping their respective institutions make better decisions, providing a disciplined way by which management can improve organizational performance in a wide variety of situations across both public and private organizations. Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman competition may be found online at https://www.informs.org/Recognizing-Excellence/INFORMS-Prizes/Franz-Edelman-Award.

Disclaimer: This disclaimer is required by Order No. FCC12A0017 under GSA Schedule Contract No. GS-35F-0108K. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not reviewed or approved any statement in this document for accuracy or validity. The FCC and its employees do not endorse goods or services provided by this firm or any other firm, except as allowed by 5 C.F.R. 2635 .702(c)(l)-(2), which do not apply here.