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ASW-3 Auction Powering Toward $20 Billion

After 16 rounds, the FCC's AWS-3 auction appears to be a runaway success.

Having already met its $10.07 billion reserve price for the vast majority of licenses up for auction  three rounds ago, the auction hit new heights Wednesday with $18,567,380,500 bid so far and a whopping $2,137,174,300 bid in the latest round alone on 949 new bids.

It took only three days--the auction launched Nov. 13--to exceed the key reserve figure (there is a separate, $580 million, reserve on an unpaired block of 15 MHz of spectrum, but whether or not it is met that will not hold up the auction). It is unclear whether it had been met at press time, though after round 15 only some 30% of the licenses in that block had been bid on.

More than half of that $2 billion in new bids came in New York alone.

One broadcaster called the strong bidding great news--it relieves pressure on the upcoming broadcast incentive auction to raise money for FirstNet, the interoperable broadband first responder network, and other purposes.

Read more at B&Chere.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.