The FCC has once again altered the bidding activity requirements for its ongoing AWS-3 auction as total bids slowly progress toward $44 billion.
Stage Three of the auction will require bidders to be active on at least 98 percent of their current bidding eligibility during each round, beginning with round 98. Last week, the FCC raised the activity requirement to 95 percent from the previous level of 80 percent.
The Commission reiterated that if a bidder’s provisionally winning bids (PWB) do not satisfy the required activity level and the bidder does not place any additional bids, the FCC will apply an automatic waiver on the bidder’s behalf. If no waivers remain, the bidder’s current bidding eligibility will be permanently reduced, possibly curtailing or eliminating its ability to place additional bids in the auction.
The newly revised auction rules are the latest in a series of tweaks the FCC has made as the AWS-3 auction has slowed down. Earlier this month, the Commission changed the daily bidding round schedule from four one-hour rounds to six 30-minute rounds.
Although the amount of new bids has slowed, Round 97 did bring in more than $52 million, marking a 0.12 percent increase to the nearly $43.9 billion total.
The auction has now drawn PWBs on 1,612 of the 1,614 available licenses. AT&T, Dish Network, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and more than 65 other bidders are currently competing for the 65 MHz of available paired and unpaired spectrum. The auction will continue until bids stop coming in.