Feeds

Secret bidding for US airwaves tops $3.3bn

Will it be Google? Or Verizon?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Yes, the 700-MHz auction has finally arrived. But we're still waiting for the big money bets.

On Thursday, the US Federal Communications Commission took the first bids for the much ballyhooed 700-MHZ "C Block," a particularly juicy nationwide slice of the US airwaves, and four business days later, as the auction reaches its twelfth round, the bidding has topped $3.3bn.

Of course, things won't get interesting until we hit $4.6bn.

After heavy lobbying from the likes of Google, FCC has attached an "open access" requirement to the C Block, which will (supposedly) force the winning bidder to allow access from any device and any application - internet-style. But if the $4.6bn "reserve price" isn't met, the commission reserves the right to re-auction the block without the open access requirement.

At one point, Google said it was prepared to lay down the full $4.6bn, but this was a shameless attempt to bribe the FCC into attaching additional requirements to the C Block, and the FCC did not comply. Chances are, Google is still willing to go this high, but you have to wonder how far it will go beyond $4.6bn.

Sadly, the bidding process is closed to the public, so we don't know who's bidding what. But you can be sure that the auction will eventually come to down to Google versus Verizon.

In September, Verizon threw a US appeals court at the FCC in an attempt to get the open access removed. But when its toss went wide of the mark, the company decided that what it really wanted to do was tell the world that it loved open access. According to a late November annoucement, it will open up its wireless network to "any app, any device" by the end of this year. But we question how open it will really be.

So we're rooting for the lesser of two evils. We're rooting for Google. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.