Media Companies to Bid for Spectrum

From the article:

“It wouldn’t shock me to find a range of unusual bidders in the upcoming spectrum auctions,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior vice president for legislative affairs.

The federal government has two big spectrum auctions in the works. One is scheduled for June and involves spectrum in the 1710-1755 and 2110-2155 MHz frequency bands.

The second auction would involve frequency in the 700 MHz band. That auction depends on TV broadcasters returning spectrum to the government after they move to high definition. That auction might not occur until 2008.

Many observers say Internet and media firms will bid in June. But George Dellinger, an analyst at research firm Washington Analysis, says the 700 MHz auction is the one to watch. That auction offers a bigger block of spectrum at a likely lower cost.

“A consortium of new media companies could wind up leading the pack to buy that spectrum and provide a third (broadband) pipe into homes,” he said.

Much speculation centers on Google. It will have close to $10 billion in cash after it completes a planned $2 billion secondary offering. And it’s already a player in municipal Wi-Fi wireless broadband networks. Last week, a San Francisco panel approved a bid by it and EarthLink (ELNK) to provide Wi-Fi to that city. A basic service would be free and a premium service would cost $20 a month.”


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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