FCC Shortens Rounds in AWS-3 Bidding

The FCC is upping the number of rounds, and shortening the duration, in the AWS-3 auction as the bidding in each round has slowed.

At press time, the new total of provisional bids was $40,721,304,800 after $141,472,700 more was bid on 1,603 of 1,614 licenses up for bid.

Starting Dec. 4, rounds will be cut from four one-hour rounds to six half-hour rounds, so there will actually be only three hours’ worth of bidding per day rather than four, but in shorter bursts.

The FCC is auctioning 65 MHz of spectrum—a combination of commercial and reclaimed federal spectrum—to wireless bidders including AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

The auction has raised billions for emergency response, E-911, R&D and the federal treasury, reducing the pressure on the broadcast incentive auction, which was the third of three statutorily mandated auctions to raise money for those purposes, as well as to free up more spectrum for wireless.

The auction will continue until there are no bids or waivers in a round.

John Eggerton

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.