FCC auction draws huge bets from sat, cable ops

15 Aug 2006

(Multichannel News via NewsEdge) Satellite providers and cable operators are among the leading bidders for a major chunk of broadband wireless spectrum up for auction at the Federal Communications Commission.

In all, 1,222 advanced wireless spectrum licenses are up for grabs during the auction, which will be staged in ongoing rounds. The auction began last week and will close only when no more bids are submitted.

More than $1.4 billion in bids had been submitted through the first five rounds.

Wireless DBS LLC, a coalition that includes EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc., gave the most cash among competitors, with 12 bids in unnamed markets totaling more than $352 million.

The second highest bidder was cellular service provider T-Mobile USA Inc., followed by SpectrumCO LLC, the coalition of cable operators Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks aligned with Sprint Nextel Corp. That group submitted four bids totaling more than $212 million.

Also on the list of top bidders is Dolan Family Holdings LLC, which represents Cablevision Systems Corp.'s owners. It had submitted bids for nearly $50 million on licenses.

© 2006 Reed Business Information

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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