Looks like Verizon's alleged backdoor wheeling-and-dealing was for naught, as the FCC's basically reaffirmed the open access provisions on the "C" chunk of the 700Mhz spectrum up for auction in what looks to be the actual final set of bidding rules. This should effectively end the ongoing back-and-forth venom-spitting between Verizon and Google, at least about the rules themselves.
The C block has a reserve price of at least $4.63 billion, which coincidentally matches what Google has pledged to spend on the auction. If it's not met, it goes up for auction again, sans open access provisions. Also, the value of entire spectrum up for grabs is now capped at $10 billion, with companies making less than $40 million picking up a discount on their bids. Finally, the auction's been pushed back by about a week to Jan. 24, probably to give companies more time to find their checkbook, since it looks to be a cash-flinging bloodbath. [Electronista]