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Wireless Networking Hardware

FCC Ends 700 MHz Auction 118

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-aren't-making-any-more dept.
Apu writes "Having received bids totaling $19.5 billion over 260 rounds of bidding, the FCC has announced the closing of Auction 73. The Chairman's statement notes that the auction has "raised more money than any [FCC] auction has ever raised" besting the 2006 Advanced Wireless Service-1 auction that raised $13.9 billion and topping the $10.6 billion Congress estimated it would receive for the 700 MHz spectrum. The New York Times reports that "the last bid in the auction was $91,000 for frequencies around Vieques, Puerto Rico." According to the FCC, "eight unsold licenses [...] remain held by the FCC and will again be made available [...] in a future auction." This includes the "D block" which was to be shared by commercial and public safety users and only received a single $472 million bid, below the $1.3 billion reserve price. However, as previously reported, the open access provisions will apply to one-third of the auctioned spectrum as the minimum $4.6 billion bid for the "C" block was received. The names of the winning bidders have not yet been made public."
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FCC Ends 700 MHz Auction

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  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @09:03AM (#22794308) Homepage Journal

    "may" do so? Did the New York Times misspell "must"? Or is it that there is a lack of clarity in the FCC's administrative law as to how long it can go before it makes public the detailed results of the auction?

    When the D Block gets resolved, the FCC will be allowed to reveal who won the other blocks. [washingtonpost.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @09:05AM (#22794322)
    Under the published rules, the names will not be released until after the D block is re-auctioned, which could take more then a few weeks to occur. However, it is commonly believed that the FCC will waived the re-auction in favor of a different plan for the D-block. Thus, the FCC *may* release the names in the next few weeks, or may wait upto a few months until the disposition of the D block.
  • Re:A better solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ngarrang (1023425) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @09:16AM (#22794398) Journal
    This plan would be unprofitable in most of the states, the ones with the least populations. With those states (ie, the Dakotas), there aren't enough people to justify the cost. With a nationwide network, that cost is absorbed by the profits in the 10 major population states.
  • Re:Just as well (Score:3, Informative)

    by somersault (912633) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @09:48AM (#22794718) Homepage Journal
    Not really, but he could have massaged the conversation in the direction of spending of the money before complaining about it. What everyone wants to know here is if Google won or not.
  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @10:20AM (#22795064) Homepage
    Patently false. Even as Amateur Radio charges into the digital radio future, it will almost certainly still have analog transmission modes. We are allowed (and encouraged) to make our own equipment and to provide emergency communications and advance the radio art [arrl.org], which are part of our justification for existence. Since digital modes will take a long time to become de rigueur around the world, AM, FM, and SSB will be around for a long time.


    There are still tons of operators that run full double sideband, full carrier AM - although their signals are not the most spectrum-efficient on the air, their audio is usually great-sounding.

  • by HungSoLow (809760) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @11:04AM (#22795632)
    I call BS. (I'm an EE doing my doctorate) Your argument is the same one people in the 50s made when transistors began replacing tubes. I'm sure similar paranoia occurred when combustion replaced steam, light bulbs replaced candles (ha!). It doesn't kill the hobbyist, it creates different ones. I was lucky enough to be on the tail end of analog and the budding beginnings of home brew digital (with uC's). Purely digital folks are not somehow disadvantaged... it's just a different take of engineering and hobbies. There's no harm with "out with the old, in the new" in this case, because the new is just as exciting and open to hobby projects as the old. In fact, one might say there are less cases of lead poisoning with the advent of uC's (haha). Furthermore, one can do a hell of a lot more with a 200-300 dollar FPGA kit than anything an analog hobbyist could dream of. Besides, these kits have D/A's on them anyway, and it's nothing to add a mixer.
  • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @11:46AM (#22796148)
    No you won't. Unless you go over the transmit power allowance for unlicensed FM broadcast ("The field strength of any emissions within the permitted 200 kHz band shall not exceed 250 microvolts/meter at 3 meters" [FCC 15.239] [hallikainen.org]). Not sure of the AM limit but the chance of you building a homebuilt station with enough power to drown out an AM station is pretty small unless someone is listening to a tropo bounce station from out of market.
  • Re:Just as well (Score:3, Informative)

    by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @12:21PM (#22796592) Homepage
    But there is a return even by not deploying a network - other startups can't rollout a competing network.

    Why not compare to the original GSM licenses in the UK for Vodafone and Telecom Securicor Cellular Radio? They had coverage obligations. Those coverage obligations were absent from the 3G auctions because with no obligations, carriers would bid more for the license to prevent others gaining a license, and then deploy at a slower pace as funds allowed.

    I don't think a great deal of thought was paid to the amounts being bid at auction time, and hence thepost auction impact.

    Sweden has 1/10 the population density of the UK, so rollout in the UK should have been more cost efficient by an order of magnitude.

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