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The H-Block auction has surpassed $456 million after 12 rounds, reports RCR News. At this point, 117 licenses have received bids, with 59 remaining FCC-held. The FCC auction (auction 96 and live bidding results), is expected to generate over $1.6 billion for the US Treasury.

The license for the New York City economic area continues to be the hottest property, with the new highest bid coming in at $134.6 million. The large area accounts for more than 25% of the total auction bids so far.

The Los Angeles economic area license has proved to be the second most-expensive, with a current winning bid of $81.8 million.

The licenses included in Auction 96 include 10 megahertz of spectrum in the upper 1.9 GHz. Dish is expected to win the bulk of the spectrum and agreed to bid the reserve price of $1.56 billion in exchange for getting greater flexibility from the FCC to convert part of its 2 GHz AWS-4 spectrum from uplink to downlink operations.

The spectrum was part of Dish Network’s spectrum holdings prior to the FCC allowing Dish to use some of its spectrum in the 2 GHz band for a terrestrial network. Dish was forced to give up 10 megahertz of its 40 megahertz to the FCC.

Many operators have said they plan on instead participating in the FCC’s AWS-3 auction that is expected to commence later this year, which includes a total of 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz bands. That spectrum is adjacent to the 1.7/2.1 GHz (AWS)spectrum currently used by a number of carriers to support LTE rollouts.

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