$8.5B Bid in Opening Round of Forward Sectrum Auction

Format now moves to two rounds daily

With one round in the books in the forward portion of the FCC's spectrum incentive auction, bidders have so far ponied up $8,490,410,000 toward the 100 MHz of spectrum up for grabs in 416 geographic areas, though with bidding credits and discounts that figure drops to $8,040,000,000 toward meeting the final stage rule.

That is according to the FCC's online auction tracker, which is providing some real-time data on bids and prices after the close of each round.

Bidding began today (Aug. 16) at 10 a.m. and closed at 4 p.m. On Aug. 17, the FCC will hold two, two-hour rounds per day.

Related: Wireless Groups Seek Spectrum Auction Carve-outs

The FCC will have to generate $88,379,558,704 in bids -- after bidding credits and discounts -- during the likely months-long process to cover the $86.4 billion in promised broadcasters in the reverse auction, plus the almost $2 billion for broadcasters moving expenses following the auction and the cost of administrating the auction itself.

There are 62 eligible bidders, including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Dish and T-Mobile.