FCC reveals 700 MHz auction bidders

The FCC has released the names of the 266 contenders for the 700 MHz auction set to take place on Jan. 24, 2008. So far, the FCC has approved the applications for 96 bidders, while the remaining 170 have until Jan. 4 of next year to complete their applications.

Wireless carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Alltel, Leap Wireless and MetroPCS have all filed to participate in the auction. These traditional bidders will be competing with each other and an eclectic mix of other companies including Towerstream, Qualcomm, Christian MVNO FaithFone, Cablevision, Cox, Google, Frontline Wireless and the petrochemicals company Chevron. Deep-pocketed investors are also looking to get a piece of the auction too. Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helu is backing a firm hoping to bid as is former director emeritus of the Walt Disney company, Roy Disney. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is also set to bid through his Vulcan Ventures investment firm.

For more on the auction:
- read this article from the WSJ about Roy Disney and others
- check out this one from Forbes about Towerstream
- take a look at the Times Online's take on Paul Allen's involvement

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