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Spectrum For Sale

For an institution that allocates usage of public air space, the FCC sure sees a lotta dollars.

From Benton's Communications:

After 12 rounds of bidding in the FCC's 700 mHz auction, the FCC reached within striking distance of the $10 billion minimum it needs to raise for the federal treasury and various programs. The total bid on the five blocks of analog spectrum being reclaimed from TV broadcasters in the switch to digital was $8.659 billion. There was one new bid, $3,784 billion, on the so-called C block of spectrum, which can be used for a national wireless network. That pushed the FCC's minimum bid for the next round to $4.294 billion, close to the $4.6 billion that the commission says it must get. Failing to draw a new bid for the tenth round was the D block. That spectrum also can be used for a national network, but it must be shared with first responders and turned over to them in times of emergency. House Telecom Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) on Tuesday called the lack of a bidder discouraging, and said during a Hill hearing that if the D block failed to reach its minimum bid--$1.3 billion--the committee would step in.

[Basically, we're going digital by February, 2009. Broadcaster, be ready.]

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