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FCC Airwaves Bids Top $15Billion

Date: 2/4/2008 4:48:36 PM

The FCC’s auction for 700MHz wireless airwaves finished its twentyfirst round of bidding last night, with projected proceeds surging to a total of $15.6 billion, after soaring past the $10 billion reserve price set by Congress earlier in the day.

The ongoing auction consists of five blocks of wireless spectrum which will be relinquished by broadcasters after they switch to alldigital programming early next year.

The top bid for the ‘Cblock’ nationwide license currently stands at $4.713 billion, having topped its mandatory floor price of $4.6 billion. The ‘Dblock’ license, meanwhile, which must be shared with firstresponders as part of a publicprivate network, and carries a minimum price of $1.3 billion, has failed to attract any new bids since a first round offer of $472 million.

Analysts’ estimates for this action have ranged from $10 billion to $20 billion in revenue, which will be turned over to the U.S. Treasury. Bidding is set to resume this morning.

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