Matsui: FCC's AWS-3 Auction Has Secured FirstNet Funding

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) Thursday applauded the runaway success of the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction, particularly given that it has raised enough to pay for the FirstNet interoperable broadband first responder network that was one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

"Six days into the spectrum auction of the AWS-3 band paired with the 1755-1780MHz band and it has already achieved remarkable success," said Matsui in a statement.

After 21 rounds, the auction has raised $27,278,835,400 with 1,437 new bids in the latest round, almost double some pre-auction estimates and almost triple the FCC's reserve price.

"I am thrilled that the auction has so far netted over $27 billion – enough to fully fund FirstNet, the nationwide interoperability network for America’s first responders and public safety officials," she said. "I am confident that as the spectrum auction continues, it will net billions more that will help pay down our national debt.

“In addition to generating needed revenue, this spectrum auction provides an opportunity for wireless carriers to build-out and enhance their networks, providing better coverage and faster speeds to their customers.  This auction is clearly proving to be a major win for consumers, innovation, and public safety.” 

Matsui is a member of the House Communications Subcommittee, which, along with the Senate Commerce Committee, was instrumental in crafting the incentive auction legislation that spurred the auctions to, among other things, help pay for FirstNet.

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.