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Airwaves auction marks new record with $15.6B

Posted: 04 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:airwaves auction? open-access? C-block?

The ongoing U.S. Federal Communications Commission airwaves auction reached a key benchmark Jan. 30, which triggered a provision the government said would offer greater freedom and flexibility for mobile subscribers.

This is according to an Associated Press report, which stated that the 'open-access' provision will permit subscribers on about one-third of the publicly owned spectrum to use any phone and any type of software they choose on the resulting network.

The record bid came on the same day for the most money pledged in an airwaves auction. Following 21 rounds of bidding, total pledged hit $15.6 billion, beating $13.9 billion set in 2006.

On the other hand, another block of airwaves set for the creation of a national public safety network has not received a bid since the first round, putting the viability of the plan at risk.

The open-access spectrum, or 'C block,' received a bid of $4.7 billion in the 17th round, toppling the $4.6 billion minimum bid required to push for the consumer-friendly provisions. In addition, the auction has raised more than $10 billion, an amount the U.S. Congress had already committed for deficit reduction and other purposes.

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