Auction Update: H Block Bids Top $270 Million

At press time, the FCC was in round five of its H block auction, with $273,219,000 bid for 89 out of the total 176, 10 MHz licenses available.

That is $28,155,700 more than was bid in round 4.

So far, the highest bid by a long shot is for New York City, the nation's largest market, at $93,511,000, followed by number two Chicago at $16,686,000, then Washington/Baltimore at $10,774,000, followed by Philadelphia/Atlantic City at $9,306,000 and Boston at $9,027,000.

The auction is in its second day, and at this rate has a few more days to go.

The H block spectrum auction is the first of three congressionally mandated auctions to free spectrum for wireless broadband and pay for FirstNet, the interoperable first responder communications network that was proposed after 911 but has yet to be built out.

The more money the FCC raises in this auction, the less pressure there is on the other auctions, the last which is the broadcast incentive auction scheduled for mid-2015.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.