Nation Unwired: Billion dollar spectrum auction

The 700 MHz auction began on Jan. 24. There are 214 qualified bidders including Verizon, Google, and AT&T. The government could make $30 billion. Bryan Gardiner at Wired says this could “be one of the most significant airwave auctions in U.S. history,
potentially affecting everything from the cost of your wireless service
to the competitive landscape among U.S. mobile providers for years to
come.” (Brian’s article is a good primer on what the auction is about.)

The FCC has designated the C Block to “open to any devices and services.” This is the space that many think Google is interested in. Minimum bidding for the C Block is $4.6 billion. Many thought that might not be met but it has and a bidding war has gone up past $10 billion.

Sascha Meinrath has posted instructions on watching the C Block auction in real time– just like E-Bay.

Part of the spectrum is reserved for building a public safety network with a public-private partnership. That has not fared so well. Read what Susan Crawford has to say.


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