Welp, that’s the game, folks. After almost two months of anonymous bidding, the FCC has closed the 700Mhz spectrum auction. In all, $19.6 billion was put up for the 1,099 licenses that spanned the 700Mhz spectrum. Telecom industry giants like AT&T, Verizon, and Google duked it out with 211 other companies to scramble for additional spectrum that will ensure that the future of their wireless networks will include speedy data access.
But, the FCC has still not announced the winners. Federal regulators still have to verify that all auction bids were legal and conducted within auction guidelines.
Most importantly, the FCC has not released the winner of the open-access C-Block. We do know, however, that the winner, put up a $4.75 billion winning bid for the C-Block. As you may recall, Google triggered the open-access regulations when it met the reserve price for this particular swatch of 700Mhz spectrum.
Unfortunately, the public safety D-Block failed to take on a qualifying bid. The highest $472 million bid was far short of the $1.3 billion reserve price for the D-Block. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is considering holding a separate auction for the public-safety spectrum so that the winners of the main auction can be announced. “I’m still committed to work to try to solve public-safety challenges,” Martin said today.
Overall, the 700Mhz auction pushed the limits of what analysts expected it would earn – almost $20 billion. Now we wait to find out who won what in the historic and most profitable spectrum sale in US history.