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700 MHz Auction Bids Reach $3.7 Billion

The C Block of wireless specrum was bid up to $1.8 billion in the fourth round of the FCC auction, but the public safety D Block is languishing.

The FCC closed its 700 MHz auction Friday afternoon with bids totaling $3.7 billion. But the so-called public safety D Block of spectrum is languishing without any interest beyond its opening round offer of $472 million.

The C Block was bid up to $1.8 billion in the fourth round of bidding. The C Block, which has open access requirements, has eight regional segments that can be melded together. In order for a winner to take away the C Block, the figure would have to reach a $4.6 billion minimum figure. Bidders will have several more days and rounds of bidding to reach that figure. If the $4.6 billion figure isn't reached, the FCC would re-bid the spectrum, probably with a change in the rules.

While most bidders have held their bidding cards and strategies close to their vest, Google tipped its hand last July that it would pony up $4.6 billion to bid in the C Block. There has been no confirmation that Google is, in fact, bidding on the spectrum.

Bidding for the D-Block of spectrum was stuck at its first round offer of $472 million and has been dying on the vine without a nibble on the last three rounds of bidding. A bid of at least $1.3 billion will capture the D-Block, which has been provisioned for both nationwide public safety access as well as for commercial use.

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