Designing the 700 MHz Auction

The FCC's auction of the 700MHz spectrum, with reserve prices set at $10 billion, was designed by Caltech economics professor Jacob Goeree and economics professor Charles Holt from the University of Virginia. The system was tested and refined through a series of laboratory experiments in which more than 200 Caltech undergraduates participated over the course of two years. Currently, a few companies dominate the U.S. wireless market. This auction is the last chance for new entrants to create a national footprint. The 700 MHz frequency is particularly appealing for wireless - the signal can penetrate walls, and each tower broadcasting in this range can cover at least four times as many square miles as conventional cell-phone towers. [Caltech Press Release]

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