700 MHz Auctions Now Top $6B

As expected, the so-called "beachfront property" of the 700 MHz spectrum -- the C band nationwide licenses -- is still leading the pack as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's wireless broadband auctions wrap up their third day of bidding.

The auction closed today with $6.1 billion in provisional winning bids. The 50-state, eight-license C band garnered the most interest with $2.9 billion. Combined, however, with other C-band licenses, the spectrum still hasn't reached the $4.6 billion reserve set by the FCC.

The D band, which is allocated for public safety services, is lagging far behind the $1.3 billion reserve set by the FCC, with a paltry $472 million bid so far.

It appears FCC chairman's Kevin Martin's concerns that the credit crunch and economic situation in the U.S. may put a damper on the auction could be solid. (See 700MHz Jitters.)

The auction is still going on, however. The process will start again tomorrow morning with round nine. The FCC says that the minimum bid for the 50-state C band license will be $3.4 billion.

The agency doesn't reveal which companies are bidding on what bandwidth, in order to prevent collusion between the parties.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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