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$8.5B Bid in Opening Round of Forward Sectrum Auction

With one round in the books in the forward portion of the FCC's spectrum incentive auction, bidders have so far ponied up $8,490,410,000 toward the 100 MHz of spectrum up for grabs in 416 geographic areas, though with bidding credits and discounts that figure drops to $8,040,000,000 toward meeting the final stage rule.

That is according to the FCC's online auction tracker, which is providing some real-time data on bids and prices after the close of each round.

Bidding began today (Aug. 16) at 10 a.m. and closed at 4 p.m. On Aug. 17, the FCC will hold two, two-hour rounds per day.

The FCC will have to generate $88,379,558,704 in bids -- after bidding credits and discounts -- during the likely months-long process to cover the $86.4 billion in promised broadcasters in the reverse auction, plus the almost $2 billion for broadcasters moving expenses following the auction and the cost of administrating the auction itself.

There are 62 eligible bidders, including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Dish and T-Mobile.