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FCC Plans to Investigate Wireless Spectrum Auction

By Carol Pinchefsky  |  Posted 2008-03-24 Print this article Print

The 9/11 Commission joins the chorus of observers calling the auction results out of key.

The Federal Communications Commission will investigate complaints that a contractor tried to extort potential bidders for a block of the spectrum set aside for emergency responders, and doomed the auction to failure.

The auction of the agency's D block of the 700MHz spectrum, reserved at a lower price for emergency responders and private ventures who agree to share it with emergency responders, netted a single $472 million offer from Qualcomm, which was well below the FCC's $1.3 billion reserve price. Several public interest groups, including the 9/11 Commission and members of Congress, have asked the agency to investigate accusations that Cyren Call, a consultant hired to manage the handover of the D-block spectrum, demanded payment from auction participants and discouraged bids.

Kevin J. Martin, chairman of the FCC, referred the matter March 21 to FCC Inspector General Kent R. Nilsson.

Read the full article at eWEEK


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