Spectrum auction raises $19.6 billion


FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is crowing that the Commission’s auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz band being vacated by analog television raised 19.592 billion bucks – a record for FCC auctions. He also noted proudly that it raised nearly double the original congressional estimate of 10.2 billion.

However, martin’s pet project was a dud. The spectrum block set aside for creation of a Public Safety/Private Partnership did not receive a bid that met the 1.3 billion reserve price. The plan was to create a nationwide interoperable network that would be used by both the public and private sectors, with the public sector having priority in emergency situations – a bow to congressional efforts to improve communications between first responders. “I believe the Commission remains committed to ensuring that we work to solve public safety’s interoperability challenges. Because the reserve price for the D Block was not met in the 700 MHz auction, the FCC is now evaluating its options for this spectrum,” Martin said.