AWS-3 Auction Closes at Record $44.9B (1/29/15)
Thursday, January 29, 2015 | Comments

The Advanced Wireless Service (AWS-3) auction closed Jan. 29 with $44.9 billion in bids, an FCC auction record amount. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will receive $7 billion from the auction, which began Nov. 13, to complete its mission of building a nationwide public-safety broadband network.

The AWS-3 auction comprised 341 rounds. The five most expensive licenses, covering New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, topped $1 billion each. The highest bid was $2.8 billion for a New York license.

“Today we closed bidding Auction 97 — by far the highest-earning spectrum auction the United States has ever seen,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “But it was much more than that. This auction also marked a new era in spectrum policy, where a collaborative and unprecedented effort resulted in new commercial access to federal spectrum bands.

“Now, an additional 65 megahertz of spectrum is available to improve wireless connectivity across the country and accelerate the mobile revolution that is driving economic growth and improving the lives of the American people. The results of this auction confirm the strong market demand for more spectrum. We are confident there will continue to be strong demand for valuable low-band spectrum that will be made available in the Incentive Auction early next year.”

The FCC will release a public notice that will identify the winning bidders and the amounts that they owe the U.S. Treasury. There were 70 qualified bidders for the auction.

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