FCC Undecided On Incentive Auction Caps
The Federal Communications Commission has yet to make a decision on how it will handle spectrum caps for the upcoming reverse auction for 600MHz airwaves. Small, regional carriers have been lobbying the FCC to put limits on the amount of spectrum larger carriers - namely AT&T and Verizon - can acquire in the auction. AT&T and Verizon already control massive amounts of low-band spectrum with their 700MHz holdings. Low-band spectrum is valued more highly due to its propagation characteristics. AT&T and Verizon argue that any caps would be unfair and harm the auction's ability to earn money for the federal government. "The FCC retains its authority to design these auctions in a way that promotes competition including ensuring licenses are available only to certain kinds of carriers and a cap on how much spectrum you can acquire. All those things are being considered," said the FCC's Roger Sherman. The FCC is hoping that television stations will agree to give up their 600MHz spectrum, which the FCC will in turn sell to the wireless network operators. The proceeds from the auction will repay the television stations and help fund a public safety network. The auction is expected to take place by the middle of 2015.
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More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
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FCC Likely to Side with AT&T and Verizon in Spectrum Fight
The FCC is close to making a final decision regarding how much spectrum to set aside for smaller carriers in next year's 600MHz auction and T-Mobile isn't going to be happy. The FCC has already set aside 30MHz of the airwaves in question for smaller carriers, thereby limiting how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon — the nation's two largest carriers — can acquire.
Sprint to Sit Out AWS-3 Auction
Sprint today confirmed that it will skip an upcoming spectrum auction. "Sprint has decided not to participate in the FCC's AWS-3 auction, but will continue to evaluate the opportunities presented by the upcoming 600MHz incentive auction," said Sprint spokesman Jeffrey Silva to Bloomberg.
FCC Chairman Talks Incentive Auction Plans
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has discussed the broad strokes for incentivizing television broadcasters to give up their 600MHz spectrum. The FCC will meet with broadcasters one at a time to explain in depth the benefits of participating.