Bids totaled $2.78 billion after the close of the second round of bidding in the 700 MHz auction yesterday. The FCC said the value rose 15% from the first round of bidding that opened yesterday morning.
Names of the top bidders will not be released until the end of the auction, which could take up to a month or so to complete. The FCC will post the highest bids for each portion of the spectrum on its Website following the end of each bidding round.
For the C-block, the largest and thought to be the most valuable slice of spectrum up for grabs, the winning bid was $1.24 billion. The FCC has set $4.6 billion as the minimum bid for the C-block, which includes an “open access” clause that would require the winning bidder to allow any device and any application to run on its network. Should the $4.6 billion minimum not be met, the FCC has said it will re-auction the swath without the open access restriction.
Google, which lobbied for the open access provision, has pledged to bid at least $4.6 billion for the C-block. However, some analysts speculate that either AT&T or Verizon Wireless will actually walk away with the license.
The FCC also received a bid for $472 million for the slice of airwaves known as the D-block, a section set aside for a national public safety network. The minimum bid set for the D-block is $1.3 billion, though the most obviously interested party for the D-block, startup Frontline Wireless, recently dropped out of the auction and closed up business. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has said that he is still optimistic that a bidder will emerge to build a national public safety network for emergency first responders.
Filed Under: Infrastructure