Verizon Pushing FCC to Reconsider Auction Rules
May 1, 2014, 2:28 PM by Eric M. Zeman
Verizon Communications recently met with Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to convince the agency to abandon its proposed rules for an upcoming auction. The FCC has scheduled a reverse auction for the middle of 2015 that will see television stations voluntarily give up their spectrum, which will then in turn be auctioned off to wireless network operators. The FCC is concerned that AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the country's two largest operators, already have enough low-band spectrum. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed to reserve some of the upcoming airwaves for smaller operators, such as Sprint and T-Mobile, which don't have strong low-band spectrum holdings. Verizon argued "it would be perverse and unjust for the commission to adopt auction rules that subsidize some large multinational companies at the expense of their competitors. T-Mobile and Sprint are large corporations with established, well-financed corporate parents," said Verizon. "They and their parent corporations are more than capable of paying substantial amounts to acquire spectrum in the incentive auction if they choose to do so." AT&T has filed similar complaints with the FCC, which will vote on the proposed rules May 15. AT&T and Verizon own vast sums of 700MHz. The airwaves in question are located in the 600MHz band, and have strong propagation characteristics.
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