Crickets Likely at FCC Discount Airwave Auction

Main waves to draw billions, but not so for public/private spectrum
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2008 2:32 PM CST
In two weeks, the FCC will put a nationwide airwave on the block starting at the low-low price of $1.33 billion.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – What if the FCC held an auction and nobody came? In 2 weeks, the government will put a  nationwide airwave on the block starting at the low, low price of $1.33 billion. The catch? The lucky winner has to share the band with emergency responders. Right now, no company looks too interested in the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

With TV going digital, valuable airwaves are expected to draw billions from giants like Google and AT&T. But the public/private discount has drawn exactly one interested buyer, a startup backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights like John Doerr—which recently folded. If no one else crops up, the FCC will be forced to either drop the price or drop restrictions, like the requirement that emergency responders get first priority.