136. The Commission determined that the census block should be the minimum geographic building block for which support is provided, but left to the Bureaus the task of deciding how to facilitate bidding on aggregations of eligible census blocks. The Commission recognized that some aggregation of census blocks may be necessary because census blocks are numerous and can be quite small, but encouraged the Bureaus to consider permitting bidding on individual census blocks in Alaska because they are so much larger on average than census blocks elsewhere.
137. Aggregation of census blocks by Tribal lands and census tracts. In the Auction 902 Comment Public Notice, the Bureaus proposed aggregating eligible census blocks by Tribal land, and subdividing the aggregation by census tract where applicable. That is, for any Tribal land covering more than one census tract, the eligible census blocks would be aggregated into one bidding area for each tract. Aggregating by Tribal lands may also create--for any census tract with more than one Tribal land--more than one bidding area for the tract. A bidder would bid on these bidding areas, not on individual census blocks. The Bureaus proposed that while census blocks in Alaska are larger than those in other parts of the country, aggregations by Tribal land and census tract--due to many instances of census tracts in Alaska covering multiple Tribal lands--would result in Alaska aggregations being closer in size to the aggregations in other parts of the country.
138. In all eligible areas other than in Alaska, the Bureaus adopt their original proposal to establish bidding areas consisting of predefined aggregations of eligible census blocks. Under this approach, eligible census blocks will be grouped by the Tribal land in which they are located, and bidders will be able to bid for support for these bidding areas. Bidders will not bid on individual blocks, except for some blocks in Alaska. If a single Tribal land includes more than one census tract, then the Tribal land will be subdivided by tract for bidding area purposes; there will be one bidding area for each tract in the Tribal land. For each bidding area on which a bidder bids, the bidder will indicate a per-pop price to cover the population in the bidding area. The auction will assign support to an awardee equal to the per-pop rate of its bid multiplied by the population associated with the eligible census blocks within the bidding area as shown in the files provided by the Bureaus. A bidder may bid on multiple bidding areas and win support for any or all of them. This approach requires separate bids on individual bidding areas. An awardee will be required to cover a given percentage of the total population of the eligible census blocks in the bidding area.
139. For Alaska the eligible Tribal lands will be identified using not only the Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs) that were originally proposed for inclusion in Auction 902, but also the boundaries of the twelve geographic Alaska Native regional corporations and the Annette Island Reserve, which together cover the entire state of Alaska. This requires that the Bureaus establish bidding areas that are different from those originally proposed for Alaska. The eligible census blocks in ANVSAs will be aggregated as proposed. That is, eligible census blocks will be aggregated by Alaska Native village statistical areas, and if an ANVSA covers more than one tract, there will be a bidding area for each tract in that ANVSA.