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FCC's Monster Auction Ends at $45B in Bids

Dan Jones
1/29/2015

The Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) auction closed at $44.89 billion in total bids Thursday. The FCC had set an initial reserve price of $10 billion.

At stake was a swathe of nationwide spectrum suitable for high-speed data wireless services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned off 65MHz of spectrum in the 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz bands, including 50MHz of paired channels for LTE uplink and downlink. (See Mid-Band's No Turkey! FCC Auction Tops $38B.)


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Seventy qualified bidders entered the ring. The FCC hasn't revealed the winners yet, but they are expected to be announced soon. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless are expected to be among the big winners -- and spenders.

This auction sets the stage for another huge spectrum sell-off expected in 2016: The 600MHz broadcast TV "incentive" auction. The AWS-3 auction blasted past the $19.5 billion earned on the 700MHz auction in 2008. (See Verizon & AT&T Win 700 MHz Sweeps.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
3/18/2015 | 8:18:18 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
Thanks.  I think I read it on a dial-up BBS back in the day.  (And now I'm dating myself.)
pcharles09
pcharles09
3/16/2015 | 10:05:03 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
@Joe S,

The last bit of your comment was good. I've never heard it put that way but I'll certainly use it.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
3/1/2015 | 2:50:44 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
Democracy has its problematic elements; we need look little further than the whole #TheDress meme for evidence of that.  Reportedly, more than 70% of people saw a white-and-gold dress, but the dress was -- in actuality -- blue and black.

I read somewhere once that the folly of autocracy is that it presumes that 1 man is right and 10,000 men are wrong -- whereas the folly of democracy is that it presumes that 10,000 men are right and 1 man is wrong.
pcharles09
pcharles09
2/28/2015 | 5:07:55 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
@Joe S,

Anytime I hear that saying, it drives me crazy. We all know that in most cases, elections are controlled by 'the players', not us 'regular people with an opinion' aka voters.

That's another reason legal monopolies grind my gears.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
2/26/2015 | 2:36:16 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
In theory, voters -- who, theoretically, vote in people with regulatory outlooks they like and vote out people with regulatory outlooks they don't like.

Again, in theory.  ;)
pcharles09
pcharles09
2/26/2015 | 8:02:13 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
@Joe S,

But who regulates the regulators? That's my only concern with legal monopolies.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
2/25/2015 | 4:31:07 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
A utility -- like your local water company or your electric company -- is a legal monopoly, and that's not unusual.  As such, it is highly regulated -- right down to the ratemaking -- to protect consumers.
pcharles09
pcharles09
2/20/2015 | 11:01:10 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
@Joe S,

I love hearing the term "leagal monopolies". We just resign to the fact that we can't do anything abuout it. But in other industries, it's not acceptable.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
2/3/2015 | 3:05:12 AM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
@daniel: "To better serve our customers..."  ;)
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
2/1/2015 | 2:48:20 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility
More high speed data spectrum? More wireless spectrum? That sounds great! I could use all of the bandwidth I can get! I do wonder, though, that these pricey auctions are going to cause my bill to go up. 
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