First, we at PISC have sent a letter to the FCC asking the FCC to sever the D Block issues, announce the winners of the rest of the auction, and thoroughly investigate the allegations around Cyren Call and its pre-auction discussion with Frontline. (Martin has apparently already circulated something that severs D Block, so they can announce results as soon as the other Commissioners vote and the wireless bureau finishes the necessary housekeeping.)
Perhaps more importantly for the long run, we ask that the FCC take a hard look at whether to try to fix the public/private partnership or possibly do something else. The FCC has a lot of options here. And with the auction clearing over $19 Billion and the statutory requirement to start an auction before January 28, 2008 fulfilled, the money pressure and time pressure are off. We have time to have a public process and do it right.
Second, here is Kevin Martin’s official statement explaining why the auction was a huge success (and, by implication, why he did a bang up job getting this done). Martin, sensitive to the grumblings from folks who say that different rules could have gotten more revenue, included this handy chart showing that, on a pure revenue basis, the 700 MHz auction is the most successful FCC auction ever.
(In the reading the tea leaves department, I note that the chart subtracts out the D Block bid. And indication the FCC won’t just pass off the D Block to the lone low bidder? Maybe, but no surprise if that turns out to be the case.)
You can find Tate’s statement here. I have not seen official statements from any of the other offices.
Stay tuned . . . .
What do you think are the odds that the bidding on some of the tiniest licenses for the last few weeks of the auction was done by the big boys solely to delay the time when they would have to pony up their billions? The winners don’t get to use their spectrum until next February, so delay doesn’t cost them anything, but it does save them a lot (millions?) in interest.
I don’t suppose this would be a violation of any rules, but it might suggest that in future auctions the Commission could adopt an eBay-style best-offer system to use in the very late stages. Would that make any sense?