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FCC's Spectrum Auction Approaches $20B in Bids 95

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-lotta-cash dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After 32 rounds, the FCC has raised more than $18.8 billion in its 700-MHz auction, well surpassing its own early estimates of attracting between $10-15 billion in offers. That's undoubtedly good news for the agency. Since the auction began on Jan. 24, both the FCC and wireless experts have expressed ongoing concerns about meeting those estimates. Once the auction was underway, those worries were compounded by a shaky economic forecast and the possibility of a looming recession."
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FCC's Spectrum Auction Approaches $20B in Bids

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:01PM (#22321784) Journal
    According to their budget sheet [fcc.gov] (133 page PDF warning), their proposed budgetary resources for 2008 is $433 million.

    As I haven't been following the news very closely, does anyone know where this $20 billion will go?

    I, like many Americans, am ghastly concerned with how my government spends money. I hope that the FCC doesn't pull an M.C. Hammer and put spinners on their pocket protectors or pass out diamond studded platinum iPods to all of its friends. Will this money be put under control of congressional spending? Will this money be put in a fund to supply the FCC with emergency regulation cash?

    You're going to suddenly have over 40 times the amount of resources you normally have. Even if they went nuts and ordered yet another all marble Parthenon-dupe building in DC they couldn't burn all this cash. Please don't be stupid.
    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:11PM (#22321914)

      I, like many Americans, am ghastly concerned with how my government spends money.
      Define "many". Most don't seem to give a damn because it's generally someone else's money.

      they couldn't burn all this cash.
      I'm guessing you are a recent immigrant? Welcome to the USA, where the government can burn through an arbitrarily large amount of money in an arbitrarily small span of time.

      spinners on their pocket protectors
      I totally want to spread that as a meme.
    • by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:12PM (#22321920)

      As I haven't been following the news very closely, does anyone know where this $20 billion will go?
      Just like all other government revenue, it'll be put into the general fund under the jurisdiction of congress. The FCC won't get to keep any of it and will have to go ask congress if they want more money.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Then why does the summary say this:

        That's undoubtedly good news for the agency.
        I figured it was going to congressional allocation but why are there things here that make it sound like the FCC is cashing out big? I mean, reserve prices? Why does the FCC care how many billion it is?
        • by daeg (828071) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:23PM (#22322054)
          Because the FCC can now approach Congress with: "Look! We made $XX billion last year for you! We need some more money."

          Congress, of course, won't realize that these auctions are a very limited-use thing. They can't re-auction them every year.
          • by ragefan (267937)

            Congress, of course, won't realize that these auctions are a very limited-use thing. They can't re-auction them every year.
            You sure about that? Considering the government we have, I'd be sure to read the fine print to make sure its not an annual lease agreement.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      well, $1.5B is surely going to go toward paying for the digital-tv voucher program. that's probably above and beyond the $433M budget you posted.

      that still leaves $18B unaccounted for, but it's a start
      • After that there's the Headquarters made of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, plus appropriate cooling for the structure, and winter garments/spoons for all employees.
    • by Paiev (1233954) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:20PM (#22322032)
      In other news, the Republican presidential campaign received an unexpected boost today from an anonymous donor.
    • Misses the big story (Score:4, Informative)

      by barbara_unsimplified (878636) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:55PM (#22322356)
      The current bidding for the C block has NOT stalled at $4.71 billion as the story states. A new bidder [nytimes.com] upped the bid to $4.74 billion a few days ago. This was made possible because there are 2 ways of bidding for the C block: either outright for the whole block, where the bidding reached $4.71 billion, or for 8 pieces of the block individually. If the cumulative price for the bidding of the 8 pieces exceeds the bid for the whole block, then that bid trumps the whole block bid. The cumulative bid for the 8 pieces now stands at $4.74 billion, which means that the C block is still under contention. Today's latest story [nytimes.com] from the NYT gives more info on the auction.
    • by beavioso (853680)
      Well some individuals have created a nice chart that you can buy.
      The Budget Graph [thebudgetgraph.com]

      You might notice the center shows some percentages, and my guess is it will more or less go into the slice accounting for the biggest percentage (i.e. National Security/Defense.
  • Oh well (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:03PM (#22321800)
    I figured my $50 bid wouldn't fly, but a man can dream.
    • by mrxak (727974)
      If anyone was wondering that anonymous bid for C Block at 4.71 billion dollars was me. I just outbid Google!
  • Recession overrated. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Besna (1175279) *
    The economic cycle of boom and bust is based on traditional theories of static job types. It does not take into account productivity. These auctions came out of thin air due to technology--the ability to squeeze far more into digital streams. Likewise, technology will raise the living standard of all. House crisis? Not when you have robotic builders.
  • Now we can pay down that TRILLION dollar budget they're proposing.
    • Re:Great News! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SQLGuru (980662) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:29PM (#22322106) Journal
      I think we should be more worried about paying down our debt http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ [brillig.com] than the trillion dollar budget. And even still $20b $1t. Especially considering that the dollar is down in value which makes that number look even worse when we pay out to foreign companies.

      Layne
      • Especially considering that the dollar is down in value which makes that number look even worse when we pay out to foreign companies.

        Except most foreign countries hold US debt in ... American dollars. So foreign countries have every incentive to help out an American in a "recession". The debt they hold is less valuable today as it was 6 months ago.

        There's a saying, "When America sneezes the world catches a cold" ... it is becoming less true, but is still valid. Look at the markets over the last two wee
      • Re:Great News! (Score:5, Informative)

        by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @01:46PM (#22323016) Homepage
        I don't know if I'm having one of those days where everything is just delightfully funny, but having followed your link there, I came to this page. [treasurydirect.gov]

        Hilarious stuff, well, maybe not. Until you get to the bottom of the page, where you come to this little gem:

        How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?

        Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it is a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

        Attn Dept G
        Bureau Of the Public Debt
        P. O. Box 2188
        Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

        • I saw that the other day when I was researching how the debt is held after reading an article about conflicting stories on how much debt the USA actually has... (US Govt estimates are at the $9t mark... while if standard accounting techniques were to be used to include pensions... the number would be more than twice that...).

          My curiosity on the "opportunity" to help pay down the "Debt Held by the Public" is whether you get any kind of tax deduction. Anybody here a CPA and want to fill in the details on this
    • Yes, that's right, a federal budget growth of more than 10% per year, with no new revenue to offset spending. Who was it that we were supposed to elect to get fiscal responsibility?

      I really wish Mark Warner [wikipedia.org] were running for president.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm auctioning the oxygen inside FCCs Washington offices, who'll start me at $1 billion?
    • I'm auctioning the oxygen inside FCCs Washington offices, who'll start me at $1 billion?

      You should auction off the CO2 in the FCC's offices. They need more oxygen in there, not less.
  • by pesho (843750) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:09PM (#22321898)
    Oh yes, the 3G spectrum auctions in Europe [wikipedia.org] .
    • by hughk (248126) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:14PM (#22321960) Journal
      Yes, the 3G auctions in the end did neither the operators nor the subscribers much good. The operators find that they are so burdened with debt that they have to press high charges on fragile business models. Mobile data is very, very useful but access is too expensive in many places for applications to be established. In fact although 3G has been around in Europe for several years now using it has been too expensive for most people.
      • Umm.. I am paying 5£/Month for Unlimited 3G access on my N95 in UK.
        • by hughk (248126)
          Yes, now. Remember 3G has been around for about 4-5 years. Initial uptake was sloooow.
      • I don't agree, I would argue that 3G auctions have either a very low connection or non at all to current pricing of mobile data. To make case: UK had 3G auctions and there you can get an "unlimited" mobile data from T-Mobile with 10 euros per month, where as in Finland, where there were no auctions and no fees to operators, you can get an "unlimited" mobile data from Saunalahti from 9,80 euros per month. Clearly if there would be connection with having or not having 3G auctions, the price difference between

        • UK had 3G auctions and there you can get an "unlimited" mobile data from T-Mobile with 10 euros per month, where as in Finland, where there were no auctions and no fees to operators, you can get an "unlimited" mobile data from Saunalahti from 9,80 euros per month

          This comparison is meaningless without some overview of what 'unlimited' actually means, since no UK operator offers 'unlimited' data means anything even remotely like how the rest of us understand the term (250MB/month is a common figure). Their plan with a 3GB/month cap costs £20/month (EUR26.80) and includes no voice usage.

        • by hughk (248126)

          I have had 3G data in the UK, DE and NL, all on Vodafone 3G networks. Initial roll-out was slow with poor coverage even in London. The first time I used 3G in the UK was in the city and it was so bad, I was losing calls unless I restricted myself to 2G. I was visiting the vicinity of Angel last year and the 3G service was heavily overloaded and not cheap.

          Yes, since last year it was a lot cheaper, but again there is an attempt to segment the market according to protocol, i.e., services like Web 'n Walk fro

  • That's one expensive doohickey!
  • Some analysts say "looming recession", people think "Oh noes" and stop buying stuff/investing => recession.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Some analysts say "looming recession", people think "Oh noes" and stop buying stuff/investing => recession.

      Yay \o/ that means I'm not the only Slashdotter who watches the Daily Show with Jon Stewart! (For those who don't watch, a guest explained that recession thing to Jon Stewart like last week).

    • by timeOday (582209)
      The economy is an act of collective faith, all based on promises. Those pieces of green paper in your pocket? They have value only if people believe they have value. If they stop agreeing it all disappears. Can this lead to recession? Sure, but that's a "glass half empty" kind of statement, since boom times are based on the same principle.
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Some analysts say "looming recession", people think "Oh noes" and stop buying stuff/investing => recession.

      I was just talking to my mom about that the other week. She said financial analysts were predicting a six month recession. I said I highly doubted the accuracy as financial analysts seem to have trouble even getting their recession predictions accurate, let alone being able to tell how long it would be. She said Wal-Mart's stock was up and the stores were seeing more business, which generally happen

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @12:39PM (#22322198)

    what business exactly does a government have selling a unique public resource to some private interest (thus automatically establishing a govenment backed monopoly), rather then presiding over equitable sharing and access to the said resource by all citizens?

    • by vonhammer (992352)
      Good luck defining "equitable" in this context. Now, imagine our wonderful federal govt attempting to implement their version of "equitable".

      The devil is in the details, and having the govt attempt to run a business is, well, like having the govt attempt to run a business. Never a good thing. Instead, they decided to auction off the resource for the maximum amount (sounds pretty smart to me), and with, IIRC, 2 of Google's 4 requests in place. Not perfect, but probably a lot better than the alternative.
      • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @01:30PM (#22322796)

        "Equitable" as in for example estabilishing a publicly-owned access infrastructure along with the rules of accessing it, say like, oh I dunno ... roads? Electrical grid?

        This is no different, merely a different set of technical issues has to be addressed. Note that this does not imply government running a "business" but rather a type of civil engineering activity governments were involved in since times immemorial, such as road and bridge building.

        The "sounding pretty smart to you" method involves selling what is not theirs to sell, in order to allow some monopolist to gouge the public unopposed, while the government gets to pocket a one time bribe and spend it promptly on some wacko foreign military adventure, thus throwing the money down the drain with no return possible to the taxpayer.

        In this way the worst possible outcome is achieved: a unique public resuorce is effectively stolen by private interests in exchange for a bribe and the general public is shafted with no recourse.

        This idiotic scenario is a direct equivalent of a government selling all roads and bridges in the country to the highest bidder, thus ensuring that toll-booths pop up right at the end of everybody's drive-way asking for $10 fee to travel every yard or some such, regardless of the direction you take driving, cycling or walking.

        • This idiotic scenario is a direct equivalent of a government selling all roads and bridges in the country to the highest bidder, thus ensuring that toll-booths pop up right at the end of everybody's drive-way asking for $10 fee to travel every yard or some such, regardless of the direction you take driving, cycling or walking.

          Well, in my State that's already happening, and to a foreign-owned corporation at that.
          • Boundless, vicious, insane, sociopathic greed masquarading as "free market ideology" will be the force that unravels the US society (as tenuous as it is already) and consequently the nation itself.

            • What really frosted my petunias was that this was all done with little fanfare, and was presented to the public as a fait accompli.

              Actually, it turned out that it was more of a long-term lease than an outright sale, with the company involved receiving the lion's share of tolls, with the State still providing most of the maintenance. At least, that's what it said in the newspaper article I read on the subject.
              • How else? All of these "free marketeers" are all about privatized profits and ... socialized expenses.

                Which of course requires secrecy because even the most gullible of goofuses who pass for "citizens" these days might catch on and could have possibly made some noises. That is why you will find all of these "libertarian capitalists" so quickly try to change subject as soon as logical questions about their fundamentalist economic religion come to things such as roads, water and even air. That is because the

                • It's happening more and more. Our local water district is now a private company called "American Water" or some such. What the hell? Shouldn't we have been consulted before something as important as our drinking water was privatized? Huh. I guess not. I might add that the quality of said essential bodily fluid has dropped to the point where I can't drink it out of the faucet anymore. I have to use a filter, or buy it in bottles which is just ridiculous. We get these "water quality reports" in the mail every
                  • Welcome to the libertarian paradise of free enterprise running everything. Let "feee markets" decide! Do no not like American Water(TM) least-cost-maximum-profit product? You as a consumer are free to rip your house up by its foundations and walk with it (paying affordable $10/ft toll fees to American Roadways(TM) along the way) to where US Water(TM) is supplying its least-cost-maximum-profit wares, or even the mere 1023 miles to the Consolidated Mega Water Works(TM) territory, where the water poisoning law

    • by khallow (566160)
      Ignoring the power of the government to do so, I find an auction to private companies to a good form of equitable sharing. Everyone got a chance to bid on it. But only the people with the most valuable use for that frequency (and the appropriate financial backing) get it.
      • Then, as I pointed out previously, you would have found nothing wrong with the government "equitably" selling all roads, bridges and airspace above 100 feet to the highest bidder, following which these local monopolies would be free to charge you $10 (and up) per yard of travel in any direction by any means. You would be free of course to "compete" with them by, for example, inventing a Star Trek style teleporter or using the powers of occult to transport yourself in ways that do not cross their property, o

        • by afidel (530433)
          It's called a toll road, while some governments run them by themselves many are sold to private interests.
          • Which, as I already poined out, is a travesty in a modern society, and if taken to its logical conclusion it would paralyse the entire economy and all functions of that society. The only reason it does not is because the crooks involved are careful to maintain the levels of their thievery and graft just below the threshold of violent reaction by the populace. In some countries, rightfully, that threshold is zero. In the USA and some others, the crooks have been working steadily to de-sentisize the populatio

            • by khallow (566160)
              Now that you mention it, there isn't anything wrong with the feudal concept in a free market world since one can shop around. If you were open to reason, I would suggest reading Oath of Fealty [wikipedia.org] which describes a near future feudal-libertarian arcology and its conflict with the local disfunctional socialist society of Los Angeles.
              • Aaah, so with stories like that it seems that all these "libertarians" are finally admitting to their true convictions, of which we long have suspected them based on the logic and conclusions of their arguments, and so they are declaring themselves what they always were: feudalists.

                And that pretty much ends any discussion. A feudalist like you is a mortal enemy of anyone who holds his or her liberty dear. The only argument that can be had with the likes of a feudalist is via a barrel of a gun. A terminal a

        • by khallow (566160)
          I don't see that as equivalent. I recognize that society has evolved with the expectation that it at worst pays very little for transportation. One shouldn't privatize such a market overnight. But I expect over say, a couple of decades to give society time to adjust, that you could indeed privatize everything you mention.
          • That is a complete lunacy. The society has evolved with the expectation that societal, common things are available to all equitably because that is the fucking definition of a fucking society!!

            If you privatize everything then there is no reasomn whatsoever for individuals to band into any socially coherent group because everyone is everybody elses mortal enemy looking only for some way to take a quick advantage of you, to use and to abuse you to make a buck. That is not a society but a band of Hyenas. As a

            • by khallow (566160)

              That is a complete lunacy. The society has evolved with the expectation that societal, common things are available to all equitably because that is the fucking definition of a fucking society!!

              Ok, so we don't have a "society" then by your definition, whatever that means.

              If you privatize everything then there is no reasomn whatsoever for individuals to band into any socially coherent group because everyone is everybody elses mortal enemy looking only for some way to take a quick advantage of you, to use and to abuse you to make a buck. That is not a society but a band of Hyenas. As a matter of fact a band of Hyenas has some social order and communal activities, this wouldn't.

              Except for obvious things like comparative advantage. It still makes no sense for me to make everything I use.

              Or to put it another way, if there is no advantage (as in getting something free, built and paid by others that you can use, with the caveat that you get to build things others will come to use fore free - such as roads, language, science and on and on and on) from gathering into a group, then there is no fucking point to it!!

              I'm puzzled by what you are trying to claim. Clearly, there's still huge advantage to groups and trade. That hasn't changed.

              You "free market" religious freaks will be the end of American (and any other that you manage you get your infinitely greedy paws on) society, collapsing it promptly into a really vicious neo-feudal order where people get to pay per use of each letter of the latin alphabet, for each ray of sunlight and for each gulp of air to some "proprerty holder".

              Whine whine whine. If you can bring up a real problem, then I can discuss it. As I see it, there's no obvious reason why society suddenly becomes more greedy than it has ever been. All I se

              • Except for obvious things like comparative advantage. It still makes no sense for me to make everything I use.

                Neither it makes sense for you to buy everything you need to exist, for if taken to its logical, proper conclusion (something you desperately are trying to avoid) then no one would be able to afford to live and would begin to get immediately and irrevokably in debt the momemnt they are born, promplty becoming indentured slaves. That is why some, who wish to be in the position to be the receivers o

                • by khallow (566160)
                  I get the impression you have a negative opinion on complete privatization. What I don't know is why. You keep throwing out strawmen that have nothing to do with the argument. You keep dumping irrelevant ad hominems on me. And you keep acting like an idiot. No offense, but "They're gonna take our AIR next!" is a stupid reason for opposing privatization of some resource. It is a non sequitur, a thing that doesn't follow from the original assumptions.
                  • No offense, but "They're gonna take our AIR next!" is a stupid reason for opposing privatization of some resource.

                    Air is no different than any other natural resource. If you can make an argument to "privatize" any other communal resource, then you can also make an identical argument to privatize air.

                    That is the point I am making. I am showing you that your logic, if applied universally and consistently, must lead to privatization of air. Or are you in favour of applying your logic to things arbitrarily,

    • by zontroll (714448)
      They're not selling it, they're licensing it for a period of time on behalf of the American public who own it. Actually, this is a very good situation but it should done in such a way as to add extra contractual clauses that benefit democracy and freedom. For example, whoever wins the auction should not be allowed to participate in any merger with the licensees of other bands of spectrum which would result in monopolistic control of the airwaves.

      Also, instead of having publicly financed election campaigns,
      • All of which still leaves them in a position to gouge the public for access to public's own property. All these arguments are about how "beneficial" it is for you to have your house taken and then rented back to you. It is really that simple and clear-cut.

        You are asking "well yea, my house is now being rented back to me, but if we like ask them to not to use my house to host fascist troops or anything, and if I like can go to the bathroom without paying, then its cool!"

    • by R2.0 (532027)
      "presiding over equitable sharing and access to the said resource by all citizens?"

      How, exactly, do you propose to do that? Send out 275 million transceivers?

      The FCC has ALWAYS allocated various spectrum to private entities and other organizations. Previously, it just gave them away. Yep, that's right - aside from licensing fees, the spectrum was given away.

      So, which is more in the public interest - giving away a property worth billions of dollars, or selling a property worth billions of dollars with the
      • How, exactly, do you propose to do that? Send out 275 million transceivers?

        No, you design and enforce access protocols, which could be as dumb as Carrier Sense Multiple Access and as sophisticated as the scientists can make them. Depending on usage, some bandwidth ranges could be controlled by government run non-profit backbone infrastructure which could be accessible using those protocols. Etc and so on.

        So, which is more in the public interest - giving away a property worth billions of dollars, or selling

        • by R2.0 (532027)
          "establish access protocols and to manage such access"

          It's that last part that is tough. How do you keep different transmitters on the same frequency from tripping over each other? Yes, there are technologies coming that would allow that, but for now, you can't. So the FCC assigns certain frequency blocks to certain users, so that they don't interfere with each other - hence, the "license".

          For the sake of arguement, lets assume that frequency interference is not an technical issue - what makes you think
          • It's that last part that is tough. How do you keep different transmitters on the same frequency from tripping over each other?

            I already answered that question: Carrier Sense Multiple Access is an ancient protocol designed specifically for radio communications where multiple trasnceivers are operating on the same frequency without any pre-arranged synchronization. Of course being so old and simple I only listed it as an example, much more modern broad-spectrum frequency-hopping systems are available today.

        • by khallow (566160)

          I just read this post. This isn't going to work for a couple of key reasons. The government doesn't have the technology to enforce the protocols. And it's probably a bad idea to allow government to use that sort of technology. To give a simple example, I keep hearing how CB radio has degenerated into a contest of the most powerful signals. That's what will happen with any common good where there's poor to nonexistent regulatory mechanisms. We could get government to enforce such rules, but it'd probably tak

  • I believe I heard a while back that it's all paid in installments, so it's probably going right to their budget over the years to be spent on some random thing, or to hire more people to man the phone lines for the groups that just complain about everything...

    Personally I'd like to see it invested in improving the broadband situation here, but i don't think that can be a reality... it would start off with great intentions, and then eventually become some crap about a 10 billion dollar highway bridge to Hawa
  • =wireless tax (Score:4, Interesting)

    by troll -1 (956834) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @01:04PM (#22322492)
    This is nothing more than a shameless tax on a free medium -- the wireless spectrum.

    Historically the FCC has always accepted bids almost without regard to how the winner will use the spectrum and it's overall benefit to the consumer. This time round they have the requirement that the spectrum will be 'somewhat' open to competition by forcing the winner to allow any compatible device to use the spectrum.

    But by allowing bids of +$4 billion they leave the winner no choice but to stick it to the consumer in order to get their money back. And that will come in the tried and true method of nickel and diming us for every trivial service they can think of.

    The winners in this auction should be the ones who have the best ideas that will best benefit the consumer, *not* the ones who come up with the most bucks. I mean, did the FCC even consider that the 700Mhz part of the spectrum would probably be best used for a meshed Internet and that MIT already has a working prototype for such a network? Sadly we probably just gonna get another phone network based on the old 20th century model that maximizes profit and stifles innovation.

    • To feed a troll - 1...

      The spectrum has value to data carriers. They can build transmitters and charge customers money for wireless data access. How much will the carriers charge? As much as the potential customers will pay. And the customers will value the service in comparison to other available sources.

      If the carriers got this spectrum for free and had zero competition, then they could charge $1000/minute or whatever customers will pay when the only alternative is no wireless communication. All the p
  • This is the real reason the FCC ordered analog tv scrapped: so they could sell the bandwidth.
    • You say that like it's a bad thing. I suppose you advocate the agency allowing the spectrum to be wasted indefinitely while there is a solution that can free the bandwidth for other uses. It isn't as if the proceeds of this, in part, aren't being used to subsidize the cost of OTA digital to analog converters for those affected. It would appear that you really don't know what you are talking about, perhaps the tinfoil hat is on too tight.
    • 20 billion / 50 million = $400 per customer if they have, say, 50 million customers. Say they want to get their money back over 10 years or 120 months, that's $3.33 a month. Not bad. They won't have 50 million customers very quickly or easily though.
  • Who tagged this "reserve not yet met," and which reserve were they talking about? There are lots of pieces being auctioned off, and I am not sure about all of them (such as the public safety chunk), but the one that most /. readers are concerned with is the C Block. The reserve for the C Block was met last Thursday.
  • This is getting ridiculous. Isn't the government to regulate industry, not own and sell it? That sounds more like Communism.

    In Soviet America, Wireless spectrum sells YOU!
  • $208? (Score:2, Funny)

    by sharopolis (819353)
    Did anyone else read the headline as $208? Maybe it's just my font but for a moment I was planning on bidding myself. I'm not sure what I'd do with a wireless spectrum at the moment, but for that kind of money it'd be worth buying one just to keep around in case of emergency.
    • by peektwice (726616)
      If you have an emergency, just have MacGyver help you build a big ass linear amplifier and a signal generator then use whatever portion of the spectrum you see fit.
  • Looking at the authorized bidders profile [fcc.gov]: Larry [bldrdoc.gov], Richard [netsedgeconsulting.com] and Minnie [mbajungle.com] , they look like a good team for a new venture. This sounds like a new company will be created and made just part of the Google family (cough, empire).

    Of course, that's if they win the auction.

  • This whole spectrum auction makes me sick to my stomach, because they go about it the whole wrong way. Instead of auctioning off a monopoly on limited spectrum to the highest bidder, can't we come up with a more public-serving 'auction'? I mean, a highest bidder auction for something like this is akin to asking, "Whose willing to charge the american public the most amount of money to use radio frequencies"?

    Why don't we turn that around, and have reverse-auctions for something like this. Not a lowest bidder

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