With the first six rounds completed in the forward portion of the FCC’s broadcast spectrum incentive auction, $11,059,842,000 in bids had come from the pool of eligible bidders, which includes Comcast, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The numbers will have to climb substantially over the next few weeks (or months) to meet the $88,379,558,704 the FCC will need to cover the cost of 1) paying broadcasters for their126 MHz worth of spectrum, 2) paying them to move off that spectrum, and 3) paying for the auction itself.
Actually, the bidders will only get 100 MHz of that spectrum, with the rest going for guard bands (buffers between wireless and broadcast spectrum).
In addition, that $11,059,842,000 number is before bidding credits and discounts extended to eligible entities like women and minorities, so net of those the FCC at press time had so far raised $10,520,000,000.
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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.