AT&T, Verizon, and Google chime in on FCC auction aftermath

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|03.21.08

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AT&T, Verizon, and Google chime in on FCC auction aftermath

Win or lose, all the bidders wrapped up in the so-called Auction 73 for precious spectrum in the 700MHz band are still under tight FCC-imposed gag orders in an effort to stem any funny business, but it looks like they're at least ready to come out and dip their toes into the PR waters. Verizon, the biggest winner having claimed the big, wide Block C prize, says that it's "pleased with [its] auction results" (we should certainly hope so), that the new airwaves will help it maintain its "reputation as the nation's most reliable wireless network," and that they're now better positioned to lead the way with new services and devices. The megacarrier goes on to boast about the fact that its winning bids score it massive 298 million person footprint, plus another 171 million worth of licenses in different Blocks.

Meanwhile, AT&T seems happy with its purchase, too -- but then again, it's not like any of these companies would be issuing immediate statements expressing buyer's remorse, we guess. The number one US carrier by subscribers reports that its newly acquired licenses, in combination with spectrum snatched from Aloha Partners earlier this year, now gives it 100 percent coverage in the 700MHz arena in the nation's top 200 markets, with "quality spectrum" (whatever that means) covering 95 percent of the American populace. For what it's worth, AT&T's Auction 73 purchases were in Block B, which has moderately less bandwidth than Verizon's Block C win -- but as they say, it's not the bandwidth of the spectrum, it's the motion of the frequencies, so we'll have to wait to see how these guys actually use these licenses before we rush to any conclusions.

Finally, from its brief statement, Google appears to have gotten exactly what it wanted: nothing at all. The company says that Auction 73 "produced a major victory for American consumers" because Block C's reserve price was met -- thanks largely to Google's early bidding, it's believed -- which means that Verizon will be obligated to allow devices of all shapes, sizes, colors, and brands to participate when it flips the switch on its 700MHz network.

All three companies sound like they're itching to say more as soon as the FCC allows it, so stay tuned as we try to figure out exactly what's next for the auction, the carriers, and the people who actually want to benefit from this action (read: us).

Read - AT&T's statement
Read - Verizon Wireless' statement
Read - Google's statement

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