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AWS Auction Includes DBS, Cable

A final list of potential bidders for the upcoming advanced-wireless-services auction has been posted by the Federal Communications Commission, and it includes several familiar names.

On the list of 168 qualified bidders is a coalition of cable operators aligned with Sprint Nextel -- including Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks -- under the name SpectrumCo LLC.

Also on the list is Wireless DBS LLC, which represents the rare partnership of EchoStar Communications and DirecTV, as well as cable players Dolan Family Holdings LLC, Bend Cable Communications and Cable One.

Among wireless carriers, Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA are also listed as qualified bidders.

Equally notable are the names not appearing on the list -- Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!. There was speculation that these Internet players would join the hunt for the AWS spectrum, but all three indicated that they were not going to ante up to participate.

Set to begin Aug. 9, the AWS auction offers a block of spectrum consisting of 10-megahertz or 20-MHz chucks in two frequency bands -- one between 1,710-1,755 MHz and the other between 2,110-2,155 MHz. The licenses can be used for fixed or mobile broadband applications, including broadband cellular services.