The FCC released the news last Friday, the Auction of 700 MHz Band Licenses is scheduled for January 16, 2008.
Here is the introduction and summary provided on the FCC web site:
1. By this Public Notice, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) announces an auction of 1,099 licenses in the 698-806 MHz band (herein, the “700 MHz Band”). A complete list of licenses available is included as Attachment A of this Public Notice. This auction, which is designated as Auction 73, is scheduled to commence on January 16, 2008.
2. Pursuant to governing statutes and Commission rules, the Commission will announce final procedures for Auction 73 after considering comment provided in response to this Public Notice. In Auction 73, the Commission will make available 176 licenses over Economic Areas (EAs) in the A Block, 734 licenses over Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) in the B Block, 176 licenses over EAs in the E Block, 12 licenses over Regional Economic Area Groupings (REAGs) in the C Block, and one nationwide license, to be used as part of the 700 MHz Public/Private Partnership, in the D Block. In this Public Notice, we propose and seek comment on detailed procedures for Auction 73, including, among other things, procedures for
• anonymous bidding, to enhance competition by safeguarding against potential anti-competitive auction strategies;
• applicants trying to combine multiple C Block licenses to place bids on packages of those licenses;
• block-specific aggregate reserve prices, to help assure that the public recovers a portion of the licenses’ value; and
• offering licenses for the relevant block(s) in a prompt subsequent auction in the event auction results do not satisfy applicable reserve prices.
3. The Commission is offering the licenses in Auction 73 consistent with the requirements of the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 (“DTV Act”). Pursuant to the DTV Act the Commission must conduct the auction of licenses for recovered analog spectrum by commencing the bidding not later than January 28, 2008.
I am interested to see what if anything Google has to say. Google made some strong suggestions regarding the auction – as well as strongly stating their interest in bidding on the spectrum. Two of Google’s wish list items were on this penultimate version of the notice: open applications and open devices – both of which seem like boons to an open network.