Wireless

FCC AWS-3 Auction Closes

Agency Raised $44.9 Billion for Wireless Spectrum 1/29/2015 12:15 PM Eastern

The Federal Communications Commission's AWS-3 auction has officially closed, having raised $44.9 billion.

 

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler announced the news at the public meeting Thursday (Jan. 29).

 

The FCC faces a Feb. 22 statutory deadline for issuing the licenses, but the agency will miss that by a bit, and Congress is unlikely to complain given the historic total raised;  the exact amount was $44,899,451,600, though the bids remain provisional until the paperwork is completed.

 

The FCC is expected to put out a final notice on the auction in the next several days; the notice will identify the bidders, who will have 20 days to pay up and file various forms, after which a comment period ensues.

 

Put together, that would push the licensing beyond the Feb. 22 statutory deadline.

 

A total of 65 MHz of spectrum was up for auction in 1,614 geographic licenses. The record total — more than twice the previous high for an FCC spectrum auction — relieves the financial pressure on the broadcast incentive auction.

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