U.S. Treasury to make big on 700 MHz auction

After 26 rounds of bidding, the 700 MHz auction has brought in more than $18 billion in provisionally winning bids, a total that exceeded FCC expectations. Originally, the FCC expected total winning bids to fall between $10 billion and $15 billion. The commission needed to ensure the auction raised at least $10 billion because Congress already had allocated that much of the proceeds from the auction. The $6.9 billion (and counting) leftover is profit for the Treasury Department.

During the 17th round last week, the C Block of spectrum met its reserve price of $4.6 billion with a bid that topped $4.7 billion. Meeting that target ensured the open access provisions on the block will go into effect. The D Block, however, continues to languish with only one $472 million bid from the first round of bidding last week.

For more on the auction:
- read our continuously updated coverage here
- also read this interview with Skype's Chris Libertelli about the auction results