FCC Delays 700 MHz Auction

5:45 PM -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today delayed the 700 MHz wireless broadband auctions, which are due to be complete by the end of January 2008, slightly but kept its open access rules in place.

The FCC said today that it is pushing the license auctions back by just over a week to January 24, 2008. The regulatory body is keeping the 'open access' rules applying to the C Block of spectrum that Verizon Wireless , Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Frontline Wireless, LLC are currently squabbling over. (See Verizon: A Narrowband Horizon? and Outlook Mixed for WiMax at 700 MHz.)

The FCC kept the money restrictions on the auctions the same, asking for a minimum bid of $4.6 billion on the C Block and a $10 billion cap on the auctions.

The entire future of broadband wireless in the U.S. looks more fluid than it has in a while after the events of the last week. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s buyout of 700 MHz spectrum and the ouster of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s CEO has thrown everything wide open. (See Sprint Nextel CEO Steps Down and AT&T Bags 700 MHz for $2.5B.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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