Up next on the FCC spectrum auction block: 700MHz band

We know, jostling over the almighty 700MHz band may not be as exciting as tossing in your bid for the one and only PowerFest '94 cartridge, but for wireless providers and startups alike, this one is big. The FCC has finally announced technical specifications for the upcoming 700MHz band auction, which is being dubbed the "most valuable available slice of radio-frequency spectrum," but are holding out on the anxious bidders by "not deciding exactly how the spectrum will be divided and sold off." The Congressional Budget Office has reckoned that "as much as $15 billion" could be added to the federal treasury as a result of the auction, as the swath of airwaves in the 700MHz range is being "vacated by television broadcasters as they make the transition to digital TV," which makes for "prime territory for providing advanced wireless broadband services." The FCC Chairman was quoted as saying that this auction would hopefully enable a "third pipe to the home" to be constructed in order to provide "affordable broadband to all Americans." If all this sounds interesting, and you've got billions laying around collecting dust, it sounds like you're in for quite the battle come auction time.