One Disappointment

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2008-03-18 Print this article Print


The only disappointment in the auction, Martin said, was the failure of a bidder to meet the $1.3 billion reserve price established for an interoperable public safety network to be operated by a public-private partnership.

"I believe the Commission remains committed to ensuring that we work to solve public safety's interoperability challenges," Martin said in a statement. "Because the reserve price for the D Block was not met in the 700MHz auction, the FCC is now evaluating its options for this spectrum."

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, immediately announced that he would hold a hearing to review the auction process after the winning bidders are announced.

Markey said in a statement he was "eager to ascertain the extent to which new entrants have succeeded in obtaining licenses through this auction. Providing new opportunities for competitive entry into the wireless marketplace and offering consumers greater choice is a key objective of wireless policy and for this auction in particular."

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of longtime FCC watchdog group Public Knowledge, said in a statement the auction produced "some good results" for consumers.

"While the open access provisions weren't all that we would have liked, consumers will have the benefit of some device and applications flexibility that they wouldn't have had otherwise," Sohn said.


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