This is a disappointment to FCC chief Tom Wheeler, who expected that bidding for the 600MHz spectrum would attract a higher amount than the $44.9 billion ponied up for AWS-3 spectrum in an auction that concluded in January 2015. The large shortfall between reality and expectations would seem to indicate that at least one big money company pulled out. Those in the know are pointing to Comcast as being that company. Last year, the entertainment giant opted-in to an MVNO deal it had with Verizon and possibly feels that it will no longer needs the airwaves it was going to bid on.
The 600MHz spectrum is considered valuable because low-frequency airwaves allow signals to travel farther, and penetrate buildings better. And instead of wrapping things up in a few weeks as was expected, we could now be looking at the continuation of the auction well into 2017.