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FCC spectrum, first day bids

January 28, 2008

The first day’s bidding of the Federal Communications Commission auction of 700 MHz spectrum attracted $2.8 billion in prospective bids, according to the agency.

The majority of the money was committed by bidders in the first round with only $353 million being raised in the second round. The day one total was about a quarter of the way toward the official $10 billion estimate the radio spectrum is expected to be sold for. However recent days have seen tech stocks hammered and there is doubt the target will ultimately be met, although Microsoft's announcement of profits up nearly 80 per cent on the quarter, will help.

Nearly half the money, some $1.24 billion, was bid by one participant seeking a national license for a swath of 22 megahertz of radio spectrum. The minimum ultimate price tag for this section of airwaves is $4.6 billion, meaning bidding for it is likely to be limited to large companies.

There was one bid for a second national license of 10 megahertz for $472 million in the first round. There was no bid for the license in the second round. There are a total of 214 qualified bidders.

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