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.
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.
FCC Finalizes 30MHz Reserve for 600MHz Auction
The FCC today formally rejected T-Mobile's bid to set aside more low-band spectrum for smaller carriers in next year's 600MHz auction. T-Mobile wanted to see a total of 40MHz of the valuable low-band airwaves set aside for carriers other than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Verizon Might Skip 600MHz Incentive Auction
Verizon Wireless said it is comfortable with its spectrum holdings at the moment and may not bid in next year's auction for 600MHz airwaves. Verizon is only using 40% of its licensed spectrum for LTE, which gives it plenty of room to add capacity.
Incentive Auction Scheduled for March 29, 2016
The FCC today finalized the rules for the 600MHz reverse incentive auction and set the start date as March 29, 2016. The rules adopted are extensive and address how spectrum will be priced, auctioned, and apportioned to bidders.
T-Mobile Implores FCC to Set Aside More Low-Band Spectrum
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray filed a letter with the FCC asking it to raise the amount of spectrum set aside for competitive carriers in the forthcoming 600MHz reverse auction. The FCC has already agreed to reserve 30MHz of spectrum for carriers other than AT&T and Verizon.