The FCC is proposing to halve the minimum reserve price on the D Block, the swath of 700MHz spectrum that didn’t sell earlier this year.
The greatest reasons the D Block didn’t sell in February were the $1.5 billion minimum reserve and the annual lease payments, which reportedly ranged between $50 million and $55 million.
The FCC originally set up the D Block as a public-private partnership. The idea was that the network would provide commercial wireless service unless a national emergency occurred. When a disaster happened, public access would be cut so first responders could use the network. There were many questions as to how that would work in the real world.
Since the D Block failed to sell this past winter, FCC commissioners have sought public comment on what to do next. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a prepared statement that Thursday’s decision “is a further notice and not a final action.”