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Round 18: AWS-3 Bids Near $23 billion

The FCC's AWS-3 auction looks like it might not be a weeks-long affair. As of round 18, $22,829,069,200 had been bid, more than doubling the $10.587 reserve price. All the licenses have drawn at least one bid now, and there were a whopping 1,754 new bids.

Currently the Big Apple is drawing the big bucks. Current bid: $1,712,964,000. The low bid in the next round is over $2 billion.

The fact that all the licenses now have at least one bid signals increased interest in the 15 MHZ unpaired spectrum ($580 reserve). The 50 MHz paired spectrum has already blown past its $10.07 billion reserve.

The more money raised in the AWS-3 (advanced wireless services) auction, the less pressure there is on the broadcast incentive auction. For example, the $7 billion FirstNet interoperable emergency communications network appears to have been paid for, with plenty of money left over.

Also the more money raised in AWS-3, the more money from the broadcast incentive auction that can go to paying broadcasters and paying down the debt.