NCI on Award-Winning Team Recognized for World’s First Two-Sided Spectrum Auction

April 26, 2018

FCC program wins 2018 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for innovation

RESTON, Va. — NCI, Inc., a leading provider of advanced information technology solutions and professional services to U.S. Federal Government agencies, is pleased to announce that its customer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has received the 2018 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The FCC won this globally-recognized honor for its use of operations research (O.R.) to create the world’s first two-sided spectrum “Incentive Auction,” the development of which was supported by NCI. This revolutionary solution was designed to meet the rapidly-growing need for greater spectrum required to address expanding wireless communication demands in the U.S. and Canada.

“This ground-breaking innovation developed by the FCC was a first in the world of telecommunications, and NCI is honored to have had the opportunity to play a significant role in helping our customer achieve this major accomplishment,” said Paul A. Dillahay, NCI president and CEO. “The strong collaboration between the FCC and NCI’s operations research team created a highly innovative solution for this complex and challenging auction, resulting in total mission success. Congratulations to the entire team for being recognized by INFORMS for the prestigious Franz Edelman Award.”

The FCC used advanced mathematical programming techniques, custom heuristics, numerical analyses and geospatial visualizations created by NCI to design and implement the auction, which involved reclaiming valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum from TV broadcasters and repurposing the spectrum for wireless providers. The remaining broadcasters were assigned to new channels in the remaining TV broadcast bands.

This NCI solution enabled the FCC’s evaluation of complex interference protections between both broadcasters and wireless providers and helped lead to the successful execution of this complex spectrum auction. Through the auction, the FCC was able to repurpose 84 MHz of TV spectrum, raise nearly $20 billion in revenue and contribute more than $7 billion to reduce the federal deficit.

INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, selected the FCC from among six finalists from around the world for the 47th annual award of the industry’s highest-recognition, calling the agency’s program a “revolutionary contribution” to communications.

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.