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FCC Auctions Off Bandwidth

Wireless network sign over whiteThe demand for mobile airwaves is at an all time high as shown by the latest FCC bandwidth auction.

The current auction for 65 megahertz of spectrum in the AWS-3 band is sitting at $34 billion. Much higher than the $10 billion reserve price set by the FCC. As of now, there is no set date for the auction’s end, but the FCC reports that its Wireless Telecommunication Bureau will monitor the speed at which bids are received and set the pace of start and stop times accordingly.

With big name companies like AT&T, Dish Network and Verizon attempting to bandwidth grab the current auction in the 65 megahertz range, some people are wondering if something new is on the horizon. The 65 megahertz range is on the high end of the electromagnetic spectrum and it’s difficult to transmit through solid objects, meaning it’s not very useful for mobile devices. With the bids being confidential, no one knows which company is driving up the price.

With a strong showing and forward-looking success of this auction, the FCC stated that in late 2016 they will hold an incentive spectrum auction which will allow broadcasters sitting on unused spectrum bandwidth to auction it off to wireless carriers.  It’s not going to be a “get rich fast” opportunity as only a portion of the proceeds will go to the stations. The rest will go to the government. The winners of the auction will also be required to share their newfound bandwidth with government users in certain geographic areas of the country as well.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)