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Print 25 comment(s) - last by bobsmith1492.. on Mar 20 at 7:21 PM

Beachfront “upper C” block remains open, closes for $4.7 billion

The FCC’s auction for the 700 MHz block of the wireless spectrum closed today, with bids totaling $19.592 billion.

The revenue “raised in the 700 MHz auction is significantly more than raised in any past FCC auction,” said the FCC in a press release (PDF) posted to its web site. The amount, which surpassed the 2006 Advanced Wireless Service-1 Auction’s revenue of $13.9 billion, nearly doubled congressional estimates.

“All other 68 auctions conducted by the FCC in the past 15 years collectively generated a total of only $19.1 billion in receipts,” reads the release.

Spectrum winners were not immediately announced, as the FCC is expected to disclose winners in the next few days pending final details.

The 700 MHz block of frequencies, which many consider the last great frontier in the wireless spectrum, was the subject of considerable debate this past year with Google’s insistence on an open platform. The FCC obliged Google’s request – somewhat – and set an additional condition on upper-half “C block” bands that require the winner to allow open access to its network, allowing consumers a choice in devices they connect with. Incumbent wireless carriers accepted the new requirement reluctantly – but not before filing lawsuits – and Google eventually made good on its promise to ensure open access by meeting the $4.6 billion reserve. The upper-half C block eventually closed for a high bid of $4.7 billion, and analysts believe Verizon Wireless to be the winner.

While currently held by analog TV stations, the 700 MHz band will be vacated next year as Congress transitions the nation to digital TV in early 2009.

Not all the of the 700 MHz block was sold, however: the “D” block, which is purposed for both commercial and public safety wireless service in a unique dual configuration, failed to meet its $1.3 billion reserve as it gathered only a single $472 million bid. The FCC said it is now evaluating its options with the D block and the seven other licenses that did not sell, presumably for inclusion in a future auction.

Auction winners will need to pay for their winnings in full by June 30, 2008, and proceeds will be used to “support public safety and digital television transition (DTV) initiatives.”



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How about paying off some debts!
By MagnumMan on 3/19/2008 11:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
That money should go to funding the asanine rebate checks the government decided to grant us without the funds to even do it. Did they forget we're in a war sucking money out of the country left and right? Why should the FCC be allowed to keep this money and do with it what they desire? You know it is just going to end up in someone's pocket. The government should do what any good business would do and that is try to balance their spreadsheet a little instead of leaving the next generation with a debt that is virtually unsurmountable.




RE: How about paying off some debts!
By FITCamaro on 3/20/2008 7:12:22 AM , Rating: 3
It's going to fund the welfare checks going to people who don't have digital tuners in their TVs and need the converter box.


RE: How about paying off some debts!
By Creig on 3/20/2008 8:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
There is currently only $990 million allocated for the $40 digital converter box coupons. If that amount is exhausted, the government can put out another 510 million worth of coupons, but then that's it. So even if it all gets spent, that leaves approximately $18 billion left over from the auction proceeds.


By FITCamaro on 3/20/2008 2:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't saying it was all going to fund the coupons. Just that the article itself says thats one of the things its going to fund.


By Oregonian2 on 3/20/2008 2:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, $18 Billion net profit and the government still gets "yelled at" by some folk here (in previous threads) for ripping off the taxpayers with the coupons (who are wildly net profiting). Duh.


By download7 on 3/20/2008 10:30:07 AM , Rating: 2
I also assume that money will mostly end up in rich politician pockets. Where can I sign a petition to make them accountable for that 19billion?


bleeding tatics :!
By tuteja1986 on 3/19/2008 8:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
lol , i think Google was smart by using the bleed tactics :! maybe its a plan to try bleed out all their enemy. No wonder they would be happy if Microsoft bought Yahoo for $40billion , which would create a huge dent in Microsoft as it would be the 1st time in a long while that would have borrow some cash for the take over.




RE: bleeding tatics :!
By wrack on 3/19/2008 9:23:03 PM , Rating: 3
And you sir think that people running Microsoft would be that stupid who wont understand this method. (This method is like business management 101).

I do agree that $40B sounds huge and Microsoft has dent in their bank balance but no one knows what goes behind the scenes.


RE: bleeding tatics :!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 3/19/2008 9:52:06 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft knows what it's doing. These guys wrote the book on hostile market takeovers and destroying their enemies.


RE: bleeding tatics :!
By eye smite on 3/19/2008 10:52:13 PM , Rating: 3
Aside from the fine tunings of business practices, it's really more like a game of chess, and who can outmanuever who on the board.


RE: bleeding tatics :!
By BruceLeet on 3/20/08, Rating: 0
Google is doing well at being "not evil".
By gochichi on 3/20/2008 2:01:53 AM , Rating: 1
Guys, don't be so cynical, Google did a really cool thing by fighting for openness ... whatever that actually means (meaning, I don't quite understand).

Google is never going down, Google is awesome. Microsoft is never going down either and that's fine too.

Man, business ethics is such a rare thing anymore and I think it's really cool of Google to be so Googlish.

Many of you are in IT and stuff, and you should make an effort to change Live Search from being the default and make Google (or someone else) the default. It's so underhanded of MS to bundle Live Search as a default (totally copycatting Firefox in layout) while at the same time they can't (actually won't is the correct description)offer up a multi-platform browser which is "so last decade". Multi-platform is very WEB, very this decade and beyond.

I think that if people want to use Internet Explorer under Mac OS or Linux they should be able to. If they did that I'd give Live Search a shot... in the mean time it depresses me to see Live Search be the default on wide release computers.

They could at least stop making incompatible protocols for their web browser, how rude is it that you can't see msnbc (a major news site, which is completely unethical to hoard) correctly on any other browser?

Anyhow, some giant out there is looking out. Google's health and girth gives me a little bit of peace of mind.




By Master Kenobi (blog) on 3/20/2008 8:31:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Google did a really cool thing by fighting for openness ...

Google ensured their Android OS has something to use, rather than be at the total mercy of cell carriers.

quote:
Man, business ethics is such a rare thing anymore and I think it's really cool of Google to be so Googlish.

Google is no more ethical than any other company, they just seem to show a better side in the lime light.

quote:
Many of you are in IT and stuff, and you should make an effort to change Live Search from being the default and make Google (or someone else) the default.

Why? Why would we make such a change to our images? I'm going to add in the disclaimer that Google Desktop is BANNED at my company. If you don't uninstall that thing right it kills explorer and your toast. Not fun having to fix Googles terrible ability to program an uninstaller. (I won't get into some of their other products uninstallers or the fact that Googles uses 8 different package software programs, which makes my job annoying at times)

quote:
It's so underhanded of MS to bundle Live Search as a default (totally copycatting Firefox in layout) while at the same time they can't (actually won't is the correct description)offer up a multi-platform browser which is "so last decade".

What's Microsoft's incentive to offer up a multi-platform browser? The cost to create a multi-platform browser to placate a 7% minority in the world seems rather over the top. This is a bad business decision.

quote:
Multi-platform is very WEB, very this decade and beyond.

The WEB is also the source of countless problems, ESPECIALLY Web 2.0. If you thought software sucked and was bloated, look no further than the Internet and Web 2.0. Sometimes I can only stare blankly and scratch my head at some of the stuff they do.

quote:
I think that if people want to use Internet Explorer under Mac OS or Linux they should be able to.

No business reason for doing this. The Majority of Mac OS users absolutely hate Microsoft so I don't really see a market there. About half of the Linux community want's to see Microsoft explode, so I don't really see much there either. Especially since Microsoft won't release IE Linux as an Open Source piece of software, and many Linux advocates dislike products that are not open source (I never quite understood why this was so important over a working product, but hey it's their preference).

quote:
If they did that I'd give Live Search a shot... in the mean time it depresses me to see Live Search be the default on wide release computers.

Hate to break it to ya but Live Search is largely on par with Google offerings in many areas. The days of Google having a temendous advantage in searching and the like has largely come and gone, both Yahoo and Microsoft are pretty close.

quote:
Anyhow, some giant out there is looking out. Google's health and girth gives me a little bit of peace of mind.

That's all psychological, Google is just a little more crafty but they still want you the same as any other company.


By Vanilla Thunder on 3/20/2008 10:07:21 AM , Rating: 3
Masher wannabe post.


By FITCamaro on 3/20/2008 2:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's so underhanded of MS to bundle Live Search as a default (totally copycatting Firefox in layout) while at the same time they can't (actually won't is the correct description)offer up a multi-platform browser which is "so last decade". Multi-platform is very WEB, very this decade and beyond. I think that if people want to use Internet Explorer under Mac OS or Linux they should be able to.


First of all, how is it underhanded. Any company out there is going to support their own product over someone else's. And the first time you run IE7 it asks you what search provider you want to be the default. It's extremely easy to choose Google or another one. So it's not like they hide the ability to change search providers in the background somewhere where only the most elite users can find it.

And what point would there be in making IE multi-platform. The only reason people use a Mac or Linux is because they don't like Microsoft. If they wanted to use IE, they'd be running Windows to begin with. It would cost millions of dollars to reprogram IE to work on Mac and Linux. And for what? Just to say they offer it on those platforms despite the fact that maybe 3 people might use it? I don't think so.


???
By cidman2001 on 3/19/2008 9:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
“support public safety and digital television transition (DTV) initiatives.”

What exactly would they spend 19 Billion dollars on in this regard? Hmmmmm...how about about making nationwide broadband/wireless coverage a reality?




RE: ???
By AlphaVirus on 3/20/2008 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
“support public safety and digital television transition (DTV) initiatives.”

You know I have only seen about 3 variations of this DTV transition in commercials. What they should do is tell the US Post Office to send flyers and pamphlets to every house in America. That would get the word to every person and at the same time leave plenty of money left over as I dont see it costing more than $200mil.

The only place I see this 19bil going to are the linings of the execs pockets and coffers. How else will they be able to pay for those hundred-thousand dinners with exclusive execs of other companies.


RE: ???
By Oregonian2 on 3/20/2008 2:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Probably goes into the general fund so that they borrow less.


Some clarification please
By InternetGeek on 3/20/2008 1:50:19 AM , Rating: 2
Can someone explain me or point me to a resource that details the reasons why the FCC decided to sell the spectrum?

If they want to derive revenue from it, and at the same time reduce our taxes, wouldn't it be better if the leased them for a small fee?. A nominal fee, nothing usage/volume related (kinda like GPS) under certain conditions. I think this would be better because it would open the spectrum to any company and set up some healthy competition on services provided through the spectrum.




RE: Some clarification please
By theapparition on 3/20/2008 9:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
In a strict technicality, the spectrum is leased. The FCC still "owns" it, just as they have the right to govern all other freqencies used in the US.

But in your scenerio, what company is going to pay for a spectrum, invest billions of dollars of product to use that spectrum, only to not have their lease renewed?


RE: Some clarification please
By Oregonian2 on 3/20/2008 2:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
And if they don't do so within given time limits, the spectrum reverts back to the government and they can auction it off again.


Money
By pauldovi on 3/20/2008 1:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
Who gets it?




Buy it Now
By Mitch101 on 3/20/2008 9:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
I would have bought it but the BUY IT NOW button disappeared just after the first guy bid.




By dice1111 on 3/20/2008 11:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Gives new meaning to "Cell Block D".

Wah wah wawawawa...




Bandwidth?
By bobsmith1492 on 3/20/2008 7:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
How much bandwidth is available and how much data can actually be transmitted at that low of a frequency?




"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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