Bidding has reached $18.55 billion in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's record-setting auction of government-owned wireless airwaves, covering five separate blocks of spectrum in the auction. The FCC is keeping bidders' identities secret until the entire auction ends, which will happen when no more bids are submitted.
A major slice of the airwaves, the "C" block, has a top bid of $4.71 billion. The 700-megahertz signals are valuable because they can go long distances and penetrate thick walls. The airwaves are being returned by television broadcasters as they move to digital from analog signals in early 2009. The "D" block, has a lone bid of $472 million. This is far below the $1.3 billion minimum price set by the FCC; if bidding fails to reach the minimum, the FCC will have to decide whether to re-auction the D block or possibly modify the network-sharing requirement.
News source: Reuters