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700MHz bids hit $3.7B

Posted: 29 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:700MHz bidding? FCC auction? Google?

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission closed the 700MHz auction Jan. 25 with a total bid of $3.7 billion. However, the so-called public safety D Block of spectrum is languishing without any interest beyond its opening round offer of $472 million.

The C Block was bid up to $1.8 billion in the fourth round of bidding. The C Block, which has open access requirements, has eight regional segments that can be melded together. In order for a winner to take away the C Block, the figure would have to reach a $4.6 billion minimum figure. Bidders will have several more days and rounds of bidding to reach that figure. If the $4.6 billion figure isn't reached, the FCC would re-bid the spectrum, probably with a change in the rules.

While most bidders have held their bidding cards and strategies close to their vest, Google tipped its hand last July when it said it would pony up $4.6 billion to bid in the C Block. There has been no confirmation that Google is, in fact, bidding on the spectrum.

Bidding for the D Block of spectrum was stuck at its first round offer of $472 million and has been dying on the vine without a nibble on the last three rounds of bidding. A bid of at least $1.3 billion will capture the D Block, which has been provisioned for both nationwide public safety access as well as for commercial use.

- W. David Gardner

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