Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 11:16am
FCC EXTENDS AUCTION-PAYMENT DEADLINE
[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable, AUTHOR: John Eggerton]
The Federal Communications Commission gave bidders in its upcoming spectrum auction another week to make their upfront payments, correct their applications and qualify to participate in the Jan. 24 auction of 700 megahertz of spectrum being reclaimed from broadcasters in the switch to digital. Frontline Wireless asked for the extension from Dec. 28, citing the holidays, and the FCC complied, moving the date to Jan. 4. The FCC said 266 applications were filed but only 96 were complete and accepted for filing. Those only need to make their payments by Jan. 4 to be eligible. The rest -- 170 of them -- will get letters from the commission spelling out their deficiencies. Those corrected applications must be resubmitted along with payment by Jan. 4. Google's application was in order, but among those that still needed work were AT&T, Alltell, Cox Wireless and Qualcomm.
* EchoStar among FCC wireless auction applicants
[SOURCE: Reuters, AUTHOR: Peter Kaplan]
The Federal Communications Commission auction of 700-megahertz spectrum auction is expected to raise at least $10 billion for the U.S. government from airwaves being returned by television broadcasters as they move to digital from analog signals in early 2009. The signals are valuable because they can go long distances and penetrate thick walls. Among the bidders are Google and U.S. wireless providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Qualcomm, and, as part of ownership of Frontier Wireless, EchoStar. Bidding in the FCC-run auction is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24.
* 700MHz spectrum auction draws Verizon, Chevron
One surprise applicant yet to complete its papers is oil giant Chevron. Participation by Chevron in the auction comes “out of the blue,” said analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates. However, oil companies and utilities are big wireless users, so he can see why Chevron might be interested. Chevron, like Google, is unlikely to actually build a network, though, he said. “I can see them potentially winning but then becoming landlords, renting it out,” he said. For both companies, that decision wouldn't be based on the cost of building a network but on the experience required: Neither company has any history of constructing and operating a wireless network, a complicated undertaking.
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