FCC May Examine ‘D’ Block Auction Fiasco

BOULDER, Colo. — FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said Sunday that he and the agency will “definitely look into the allegations” of rumored shadowy deals that may have led to the collapse of Frontline Wireless and the apparent failure of the “D” Block segment to attract a minimum reserve bid in the ongoing 700 MHz spectrum auction.

First reported by Harold WFeld on the WetMachine blog, the rumor that machinations by Morgan O’Brien of Cyren Call fame may have helped to scuttle the plans of Frontline Wireless — perhaps the most likely bidder on the mixed-use D Block bandwidth — is something Adelstein is taking seriously, following what he called the “great disappointment” of the apparent failure of any winning bid for the D Block spectrum.

Adelstein’s pledge to look more deeply into the matter came during a question-and-answer period following his participation in panel discussions here at the Silicon Flatirons conference, one of the nation’s top telecom policy gatherings.

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8 Things to Know About the 700MHz Auction

The 700MHz auction kicks off today, and like kids waiting for Santa Claus, the technology and business publications are tense with anticipation. But FCC chairman Kevin Martin is keeping a lid on this auction, rather than post periodic updates as was done in the AWS auction in 2006.

While you wait to learn who gets the goods who gets a lump of coal, here’s a quick list of everything you need to know about the upcoming auction and why it matters. Check out all the links, because the bidding doesn’t conclude until March 24 and down payments aren’t due until April 11. You’ve got time.

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