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FCC Approves Google’s Application to Bid on Wireless Spectrum

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FCC Approves Google’s Application to Bid on Wireless Spectrum

Google’s application to bid in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction next month has been accepted by the Federal Communications Comission (FCC). However, some of Google’s biggest rivals in the auction, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, were placed on the “incomplete” list and will be required to re-submit their applications in order to be eligible.

The FCC reported that they received a total of 266 applications, of which only 96 were accepted. 170 applications submitted were deemed incomplete, and are being returned to applicants for revision.

Once an applicant is accepted, there’s still one last step to go through to be considered a formal bidder. An upfront payment must be submitted to the FCC by January 4, 2008, a deadline which was already extended by one week after a request was made to extend the deadline due to the holiday season.

Up for grabs at the auction, which is to be held January 24, is spectrum in the 700 MHz band that will become available once TV broadcasters move from analog to digital signals in early 2009. This particular spectrum is considered to be highly valuable due to its far-reaching strength.

Google submitted their bid as Google Airwaves Inc., confirming their November announcement of intentions to bid. Other companies on the accepted list include Vulcan Spectrum LLC and Bend Cable Communications LLC, which are ventures backed by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

Amongst those who were listed as “incomplete” are Alltel, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Qualcomm. Although no specific details were released on what the applications were lacking, the FCC said that “some applicants have submitted certain inconsistent information”. If they want to remain the running for the spectrum bidding, they’ll need to quickly round up troops to rectify the incomplete applications, and turn them in along with the upfront payment by 6pm EST on January 4.

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