On Monday, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a public notice announcing the commencement of the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS)-3 auction on November 13. The AWS-3 band encompasses 1,614 licenses in the 1695- 1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands that will be auctioned in 5X5 MHz and 10X10 MHz blocks. The FCC approved licensing and technical rules for the AWS-3 band in March, and Monday’s public notice proposes a reserve price of more than $10 billion for the 1755-1780 MHz/2155-2180 MHz bands and $580 million for the 1695-1710 MHz band. Among the 1,614 licenses to be offered, 734 will be sold in the Cellular Market Area (CMA) format while the remaining 880 will be auctioned in the larger Economic Area (EA) configuration. The total amount of spectrum to be auctioned (65 MHz) will make the AWS-3 event the FCC’s largest spectrum sale since 2008. The AWS-3 sale will be the second of three auction events that have been designated by Congress as funding sources for the nationwide “FirstNet” interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety entities. The first of these events, the H-block auction, was conducted earlier this year and raised $1.565 billion of FirstNet’s estimated $7 billion in construction costs. (Next year’s incentive auction of 600 MHz wireless spectrum, which is expected to raise in excess of $20 billion, is the third event slated to raise funds for FirstNet.) The AWS-3 auction also includes channels that are currently in use by the U.S. government and that will require the relocation of federal users. Simultaneously with the release of Monday’s public notice, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched a website that provides information to the public about the AWS-3 transition and includes data on estimated relocation and sharing costs and timelines for band clearance. The FCC, meanwhile, has asked for public input on the reserve prices and on auction procedures that include a proposed anonymous bidding format. Comments are due on June 9, and the deadline for replies is June 23.