We Want the Airwaves, Baby …
A bid of $4.7 billion in the Federal Communications Commission’s 700-MHz auction pushed the nationwide C block over its $4.6 billion reserve price this morning, triggering the spectrum’s open-access provision.
Great news for Google, which sought the provision that requires the winning bidder to open the C block spectrum to all devices and software applications. Great news, too, for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who has promised a $10 billion contribution to the federal budget from the auction.
Who placed that $4.7 billion bid? We don’t yet know, as the FCC’s auction rules require bidders to remain anonymous. It’s worth noting, however, that bidding for the C block stalled yesterday at $4.3 billion, just short of the $4.6 billion needed to trigger the open-access provision. Could that $4.3 billion bid have been Google forcing the hand of an incumbent telecom?