Bidding Up As AWS-3 Auction Resumes

Provisional bid total grows to $38,464,186,700

The FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction resumed Monday with 292 new bids (up from 127 in round 37 Nov. 26), the last round before the Thanksgiving break.

The dollar total for the new bids was $267,669,400, making the total provisional bid dollar amount for the auction $38,464,186,700, more than double some pre-auction estimates and almost quadrupling the total reserve price of $10.587 billion.

Up for auction is 65 MHz of advanced wireless spectrum (the AWS in the title), with bidders including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile—Sprint sat the auction out.

The AWS-3 auction, which began Nov. 13, is one of three auctions whose proceeds will go toward funding an emergency communications network (FirstNet) and other projects as well as deficit reduction.

The first (H block) auction collected $1.564 billion toward that goal (FirstNet alone is $7 billion). The FCC predicted that the AWS-3 auction would raise most if not all of that $7 billion—it has now raised enough to cover it and then some—putting less pressure on the third auction, the broadcast incentive auction, scheduled for 2016.

The auction won’t be over until there are no more bids or waivers exercised.

The auction began with three rounds per day, but added a fourth round Nov. 14 to speed the process.

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)