FCC Sets Rules for AWS-H Block Spectrum Auction
The Federal Communications Commission today officially filed a proposal to auction off a 10Mhz slice of spectrum known as the AWS-H block. This block of spectrum adjoins the PCS band and is being freed up in part to help make more wireless broadband available to Americans. The H block falls in the 1915-1920MHz (uplink) and 1995-2000MHz (downlink) bands. It resides next to the PCS G block, which is used to Sprint. Officially, this notice of proposed rule making is a "first step in implementing" the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which was passed earlier this year. Winners of the spectrum auction will need to offer cellular service to 40% of the coverage area within four years, and 70% within 10 years. Licensees will be allowed to segregate and license the spectrum on their own, but will have to work with Sprint to ensure there is no interference with Sprint's neighboring network. The FCC hopes to hold the auction next year.