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700MHz auction ends, FCC waits to reveal winners

updated 09:35 pm EDT, Tue March 18, 2008

700MHz bid ends

The 700MHz FCC-led wireless auction today ended with an estimated revenue of $20 billion, says Molly Peterson of While the FCC hasn't disclosed the actual winner of the auction, this brings a close to a nearly two month long bidding war between 214 companies, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Google. Analysts for the FCC expected the auction to raise between $10- to $15 billion.

The 700MHz band is soon to be abandoned by over-the-air TV providers in 2009, when the federal government will enact a bill requiring all providers to switch to a digital broadcasting medium. The band is currently occupied by analogue wireless television broadcasts. The bid was originally conceived to combat wireless monopolies by larger telcos, since it would make it increasingly difficult for newcomers to open up shop.

One segment of the band did not sell, entitled D-block, as the highest bid for the public-safety-reserved frequencies topped off at $472 million, nearly a third of the reserve price of $1.3 billion. The FCC is now constructing a new plan for selling the block, and is considering a separate auction so that winners may be announced for the other segments.

Bids on the other airwave segments typically topped government expectations, with the largest bid (C-block) coming in at $4.74 billion. The C-block winner must agree to a stipulation to allow other legit mobile devices to function on the network. Google, along with several consumer-advocacy groups, pushed for this ruling.

The 700MHz band will allow companies to deploy a 4G network infrastructure using a "clean slate".

by MacNN Staff



  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I may or may not be first, I'll have to wait and see.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $15 billion

    gee that will pay for 2 or 3 months of the Iraq war.

    Oh wait - we don't pay for that with government revenue, we borrow from the Chinese. The national debt is going to be $10 trillion by the time W leaves office. Heckuva job, Bushie.

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: $15 billion

    I thought the dems ran on ending the Iraq War? They have been in power for how long? Over a year?? If $15 billion pays for the 3 months of the Iraq war then the dems allowed some $60 billion to be needlessly spent since they have yet to keep their promise of ending the Iraq war. I guess this new congress controlled by the dems is about as worthless as the Iraqi government the dems profess to be unable to accomplish anything! Congrats dems! Although earmark pork barrel spending is still alive and well under the dems control... $700,000.00 earmarked for a bike path in the state of MN... A BIKE PATH... when MN's bridges fall down! Nancy Pelosi said it takes a woman to clean up Bush's mess??? Beside being a sexist remark, I say HA! The only thing that increased under her leadership is an increase in the budget for flowers for their offices. The dems don't seem to be too worried about deficits when it's them spending the money. What a joke!

  1. jamiec

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dems in power?

    Sorry bub, when the Dems don't have the votes to override a Republican veto or stop a Republican filibuster, they're not in power.

    When the Dems are ACTUALLY in power, then you can criticize them. Here's hoping they grow a spine by then.

    Also, bike paths are awesome. We spend the tiniest fraction on clean transport of what we spend on superhighways, and drivers complain about it. Bridges collapse because there are too damn many cars on them -- think about it.

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: dems in power?

    Sorry dude, Dems said NOTHING about what majorities they needed for votes or to override a veto during their campaigns to get into power.

    Dems don't need to ACTUALLY be in power to criticize them. Those dems that have spines like Lieberman or Zell Miller are kicked out and shun! So much for diversity and big tent and inclusiveness. If Dems have a spine, let a ProLife dem speak at their presidential convention.

    Bike paths are not a federal government necessity! If MN wants one, let MN get the funds from the local population that will utilize it. It's bad enough when Republicans earmark federal funds for a bridge to nowhere. Now we have bike paths to nowhere?!

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