Inside the Wireless Spectrum Auction

By Carol Pinchefsky Print this article Print

The fate of the D Block is still in limbo, and it could be reauctioned later.


The 700MHz spectrum auction ended March 18 after 50 days of bidding, taking in $19.6 billion for the federal government, even though the D block—reserved for emergency access by the government but in use daily by private industry—did not meet its reserve price and may be reauctioned at a later date.

Harold Feld, senior vice president of the Media Access Project, an advocacy group that promotes the public interest to the Federal Communications Commission, called the auction a success, particularly because of its use of anonymous bidding.

“When you compare the number of bidders that came to the table and the amount they were willing to bid with the Advanced Wireless Spectrum auction [in 2006] … it really worked as advertised in making the auction competitive,” Feld said. “So even if the incumbents walked away with most of the licenses, at least they had to pay market value for them instead of getting them for a song, which is what happened in the AWS auction.”

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This article was originally published on 2008-03-20
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