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FCC’s AWS-3 Auction To Take Holiday Break

If it lasts that long, the FCC's AWS-3 auction will be taking a holiday next week.

The commission's Wireless Bureau announced Wednesday (Dec. 17) that the auction will suspend after the last round on Tuesday, Dec. 23, and won't resume until the New Year (Jan. 5 at 10 a.m.). The auction also broke for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Of course, if there are no more bids or waivers in a round before that Dec. 23 date, the auction will be over since it has far exceeded its $10.587 billion reserve price.

At press time, the auction had wrapped up round 107 with 94 new bids in that round but only totaling $17,220,700 for a total in provisional bids of $44,233,966,100.

The auction has already been declared a runaway success by House Energy & Commerce Committee leaders who helped legislate it into existence, as well as industry players and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The auction this week moved into its third stage. It has increasingly ramped up the requirements to remain in the bidding as a way to speed the auction along.

In stage three, which kicked in Tuesday (Dec. 16), a bidder must be actively bidding on 98% of the licenses for which it is eligible in each round. To check out the details of remaining in the bidding, go here.

The auction started with 70 eligible bidders, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile expected to divvy up the lion's share of the 65 MHz of spectrum in the auction.