Faced with the prospect that the FCC will not receive the required minimum bid of $1.33 billion for the 700 MHz D-block license, Representative Charles Pickering (R-MS) and other panelists in attendance at the annual conference of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) suggested various policy changes that the FCC should adopt to ensure a successful reauction. The 700 MHz auction, which commenced on January 24, passed 170 rounds as of yesterday. Under the FCC’s rules, the auction (which encompasses 1099 licenses) will end when no new bids are received. Signaling that the auction is near its conclusion, FCC records show that activity has slowed to a crawl, with only 12 new bids yesterday. Although the bid total for the entire auction now stands at $19.58 billion, the 10 MHz D-block—which has been earmarked for an interoperable nationwide broadband wireless network to be shared by commercial and public safety entities—has seen no activity since an opening bid of $472 million was posted in the initial round. Declaring that “I am still hopeful and committed to making sure” that the concept of a hybrid commercial-public safety broadband network is brought to fruition, Pickering said that the FCC needs to enact several changes to its current D-block policy to ensure that a successful bidder emerges during a D-block reauction. In addition to lowering the D-block reserve price, Pickering urged the FCC to review provisions that govern fees and negotiations between prospective D-block bidders and the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), which is tasked with formulating an agreement between the commercial D-block licensee and public safety users that would cover network sharing and management. Confirming that Congress is likely to conduct hearings on D-block issues after the auction closes, Mark Siefert, an aide to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said NENA panel members plan to work with the FCC to determine “how do we really make [the D-block] work for public safety.”