Saturday, February 16, 2008

FCC 700 MHz Auction Update - Feb. 16

I'm feeling better after a week with the flu - all I can say is next year I'm getting a flu shot!

I've been watching the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 700 MHz auction fairly closely since it started on January 24. The 81st round finished yesterday (Friday - Feb. 15, 2008) afternoon - here's an update from the FCC auction site:

  • Bidding Rounds to Date: 81
  • Bid totals to Date: $19,450,389,100
  • Activity is slowing with selected licenses in the B-block and E-block sections receiving most of the new bids.
  • There has not been a C-Block bid on the U.S. 50 state package since it passed the FCC reserve price on Thursday, January 31. The current bid is still $4,713,823,000.
  • The public safety D-Block has not had a bid in 80 consecutive rounds and is stuck at $472,042,000, still well below the $1.3 Billion reserve price set by the FCC.
Some personal observations and opinions:
  • The FCC will likely be ending the auction soon. Before they do they'll probably increase the frequency of the bidding rounds to move things along - they've done this with prior spectrum auctions.
  • Will C-Block bidding heat up in the final rounds? Most experts are saying no. I'm wondering if there may be a deep pocket bidder patiently waiting.
  • The public safety D-Block is the FCC's biggest problem right now - the FCC will have to re-auction and the public-private partnership model I wrote about last month is looking like an interesting possibility.
Bidding is closed for the holiday weekend with round 82 starting Tuesday (Feb. 19, 2008) morning.

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