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FCC Moves to Phase II of AWS-3

The FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction continued to inch its way toward $42 billion in tentative bids on 65 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband, with the FCC moving to "stage two" of this rocket of an auction to get folks to bid or get out.

The FCC announced that as of the first round Tuesday, which will be round 68, it is changing the rules a little bit, requiring bidders to offer new bids on 95% of the licenses for which they are eligible or risk not being able to place any additional bids.

At press time, with 66 rounds completed, the auction total stood at $41,686,334,100 on $17,816,800 in new bids (28 of them). The total is a new high, but the others are way down.

The auction is clearly winding down after a flurry of early bidding (the auction launched Nov. 13) that saw the total grow by a billion dollars or more per round.

Twelve of the 1,614 licenses up for auction have no bids, but that won't stop the auction from closing when no new bids or waivers are exercised in any of the now-half-hour rounds.

The reserve price was only $10.587 billion, which the auction topped in 13 rounds and less than four days of bidding.