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Jan 31, 2008 Open access for all: prime 700MHz Block C hits reserve price

Open access for all: prime 700MHz Block C hits reserve price

By Eric Bangeman | Published: January 31, 2008 - 09:38AM CT

After 17 rounds, the 700MHz spectrum auction has finally hit its one of its most closely watched targets: bidding on Block C has surpassed the Federal Communications Commission's mandated $4.638 billion reserve, meaning that the FCC's mandated open access rules will come into play. Bids on the block of spectrum totaled $4.744 billion after Round 17.

Yesterday, the auction passed another significant milestone, crossing the FCC's $10.3 billion threshold for the auction as a whole. As of the end of Round 17, total bidding stood at $12.789 billion. With the threshold crossed, the auction is all but certain to come to a successful conclusion, meaning that we won't have a replay at some point in the future.

The identity of the high bidder on Block C (or any other block, for that matter) remains unknown, as the FCC's auction rules require bidders to remain anonymous. Speculation about who is behind the action on Block C has focused primarily on AT&T, Google, and Verizon, with many analysts believing that Google will drop out of the bidding once the reserve price has been reached.

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