There was a mock auction today just to test the equipment for submitting bids. The real thing is on Thursday beginning at 10am.
Chairman Martin has been urged to let the auction for Block D (the public-private partnership) play out. Given the roiling stock markets around the world and the high reserve prices that the FCC set, it’s unlikely that the reserve prices will be met – particularly the $4.6 billion reserve price for Block C, the block for which mild no-locking, no-blocking requirements were drafted. If that block doesn’t command that reserve price, we’ll be back to smaller paired blocks of 5 or 6 MHz each, much reduced geographic areas, and no open platform limitations. (As for the D Block, the Commission set a reserve price of $1.33 billion. If that reserve isn’t met, the FCC will decide whether or not to re-auction it on the same or different terms.)
It seems like an uncertain week during which to bid a few extra billion for the privilege of a world in which the C Block conditions exist. Frontline is already out of the picture for the D Block. If you’re one of the big incumbents – Verizon or AT&T – you’d be happy for those restrictions to go away.
And our own government doesn’t care much about infrastructure (did you see this story in the Post?) – even infrastructure that makes new ideas possible.
I’ll still be following the auction results closely (not that we’ll hear much until it’s over), but I have a sinking feeling that we won’t see much that’s newsworthy. Brough Turner thinks otherwise. We’ll see. Maybe I’m just affected by the weather these days.
*Cross-posted from [Susan Crawford blog](http://scrawford.net/blog).*