Wireless Spectrum Auction Ends, FCC Banks

The FCC’s auction for the 700 MHz block of wireless spectrum has finally come to an end, earning a healthy chunk of cash for the last major portion of spectrum available in the US. The target for the auction was a modest $10 billion but as it turned out, sights were set a bit low. Bidding wrapped up yesterday evening and while identities of the winning parties have not yet been disclosed, the grand total has: a paltry $19.6 billion. So why haven’t the identities of the winning bidders been revealed yet? Despite the overall success of the auction, there was one block of available spectrum that failed to meet the minimum bid amount set by the FCC. Analysts believe that this block of spectrum, the ‘D block’ set aside for public safety use only, will ultimately be withdrawn from this auction and sold at a later date so that funds from those blocks that did sell can be collected. The 700 MHz spectrum is currently used in the US by broadcast television, however the band will become available next year with the switch to digital. What new services will we see pop up as this decade draws to an end? Unfortunately we all have to wait a bit longer to find who the winners were before any reasonable speculation can begin.

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