700MHZ public safety "D Block" might be going regional for a new FCC auction

Yeah, this does nothing for your own mobile surfing habits, but the FCC's desires to create a much-needed national wireless broadband standard for various public safety agencies are seeing a much-needed push. The safety-allotted 700MHz "D Block" didn't meet its reserve price in the auction earlier this year, since nobody thought they could manage a profit building and running a national public safety network. The new plan is to divvy up the spectrum space into regional licenses, but the FCC's auction strategy is two-fold. They've reduced the reserve price on the national network, and if a single bidder hits that $750 million pricetag the FCC will be selling the spectrum whole. Meanwhile they'll be running a piecemeal auction for 58 regional licenses, but they have to collectively pony up more than the single license auction nets. Mixed in with all this is an even more complicated winner-takes-all competition between WiMAX and LTE -- a win either way in the public sector could give the commercial proponents that edge they need in the consumer market. The FCC's going to decide on these crazy proposals on September 25th.