FCC Auction Bid Triggers 'Open Access' Spectrum

Today’s big news out of the FCC wireless spectrum auction: Someone has bid $4.7 billion on the nationwide “C-block,” pushing past the $4.6 billion reserve price. The auction is anonymous, so we don’t know who it is. Suspects include Google, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Echostar, etc.

What we do know: Because the bid passed the spectrum block’s $4.6 billion reserve price, the winner will be forced to comply with the “open access” rules the FCC agreed to last summer. This means whoever wins the bid will have to allow consumers to use any device or software application on airwaves they’ve purchased.

What we also know: No matter who wins the spectrum, this is a victory for software developers and gadget makers, especially those designed for high-bandwidth applications. A brand new market for their stuff has just magically appeared.

See Also: Spectrum Auction Update: Bidders Snub Public Safety Block
The FCC Spectrum Auction: The Cliff Notes Version

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