AWS-3 on Holiday Pause

Auctions Resumes Jan. 20, With New Rules To Goose Bidders

The FCC's AWS-3 auction wrapped up its last round (#246) early on Friday for the long weekend (Martin Luther King holiday) with only $103,000 in new bids (6 of them). The auction will begin again on Jan. 20 with new rules to try and bring hurry the auction along to a close.

The current total is $44,703,764.100. Given that the FCC is under a statutory obligation to get the licenses out, and will still have a number of steps to go through--collecting the money, letting the public comment--before that, it is looking to wrap up the auction, which has blown past all pre-auction estimates to easily be the most successful auction--in terms of provisional bid totals--in the two-plus decades since the FCC starting auctioning spectrum.

Beginning Tuesday, in order to remain in the bidding, bidders will have to "be active on 100% of their bidding eligibility," up from 98% in recent rounds. Absent that the FCC will automatically apply a waiver, if the bidder still has one. If not, it may be out of the bidding.

The FCC is auctioning 65 MHz of spectrum, a combination of spectrum it already had with some reclaimed from federal users and broadcasters, who agreed to share to spectrum digs.