Reps. Upton, Walden Declare AWS-3 'Remarkable' Success

With the FCC's AWS-3 auction having raised more than $35 billion and counting, Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said that is enough to relocate Department of Defense users who moved off some of the spectrum, as well as pay for the FirstNet first responder broadband network and for deficit reduction.

Upton, chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Walden, chair of the Communications subcommittee, were instrumental in coming up with the legislation spurring that and the upcoming broadcast incentive auction.

“The FCC’s airwave auction has been a remarkable success – a boon for American taxpayers," said Upton. "To date, the auction has already raised enough money to cover the expenses to upgrade and relocate government spectrum users, pay for a nationwide first responder broadband network, and provide $20 billion to reduce the deficit.

“Importantly, it has also proved that increased cooperation between the many parts of our government can result in better spectrum use, more resources to fuel the cutting-edge communications tools of the 21st century, and a return on investment for the American people.”

“Our bipartisan work with the Pentagon, FCC, and NTIA helped identify solutions to free this valuable spectrum without harming the Defense Department’s ability to train the men and women that work every day to keep Americans safe,” said Walden. “With the first-of-their-kind incentive auctions up next, the FCC has an opportunity to continue America’s leadership in wireless. We look forward to seeing the same level of dedication, cooperation, and ingenuity as the Commission works to bring broadcasters to the auction. Chairman Wheeler and the entire commission should be applauded for their work on this auction. Let’s build upon this success as we look toward the next auction in 2016.”

After round 31, the last round of the day Monday, the auction appeared to be winding down with only 121 new bids. But, it was still good enough to generate an additional $417,832,700 in new bids for a total of $36,007,022,200.

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.