The Federal Communications Commission has ended an auction for airwave licenses after bidding reached $1.564 billion — which just happens to be the minimum bid that Dish Network promised to make.
The FCC will formally announce the winner or winners of the auction in the coming days. But it appears that Dish, the largest company to file for the auction, was the big winner.
“It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Dish didn’t run away with almost everything,” said Jeffrey Silva, a wireless industry analyst with Medley Global Advisors.
Jenna McMullin, a Dish spokeswoman, declined to comment, citing anti-collusion rules that bar the company from discussing the results.
Dish is currently a satellite TV provider, but the company has been acquiring airwaves for a national cell-phone service for several years. The company could choose to build its own network, becoming the fifth national firm. But more likely, it will try to buy or partner with one of the existing carriers.
Wireless traffic has exploded in recent years as consumers stream videos, download apps, and browse the Web on their mobile devices. The skyrocketing demand has led all cell-phone carriers to try to buy access to more spectrum — the airwaves that carry wireless signals. Without additional spectrum, a company’s network could be clogged with traffic, leading to dropped calls and choppy videos.
The spectrum that the FCC finished auctioning Thursday is known as the “H-Block.” The proceeds from the auction will go to pay down the deficit and toward a planned high-speed wireless network for first-responders.
“With this successful auction, the Commission makes good on its commitment to unleash more spectrum for consumers and businesses, delivering a significant down payment towards funding the nationwide interoperable public safety network,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.
The agency is preparing for a much larger spectrum auction next year in which it plans to buy back licenses held by TV broadcasters and sell them to the cellular industry.
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As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.
President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a large pillar of his efforts to leave a lasting environmental legacy, "goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today." The plan "imposes the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants." A number of consolidated cases finds 27 states challenging this plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court in February pending decisions from lower courts. The states will argue that the government doesn't have the right to impose restrictions requiring them to shutter plans and restructure full industries.
There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.
As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.
At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.