Things have taken a turn for the better in the 700MHz spectrum auction. After a couple of days of uncertainty, a bid came through that triggered the open access provisions on the nationwide C Block.
The offer amount also ended bidding on that block, but the winner wont be named until the other portions have been auctioned that could take weeks.
An anonymous bidder ponied up $4.71 billion on Thursday during the 17th round of bidding. That amount surpassed the reserve of $4.64 billion required by the FCC for the open access conditions to become effective.
Auction rules keep the identity of the 214 approved bidders secret, but Google Inc. last year pledged to put up the $4.6 billion if the FCC would adopt an open-access framework for this auction. Triggering the open-access rules means mobile phone users in the United States at some point will be able to use any device they like on that section of the 700MHz spectrum.
Verizon Wireless is considered to be the other likely bidder for the C Block.