FCC To Reconsider Small Business Discounts
Feb 2, 2006, 2:22 PM by (staff)
The FCC is set to unveil a proposal that will change the rules on small business discounts awarded in some spectrum license auctions. Currently large carriers team with small regional ones to bid on spectrum in auctions. The national carriers do this to take advantage of a 25% discount awarded to small carriers on some licenses. The FCC would like to prevent large carriers from taking advantage of this discount while still offering it to smaller ones. Even if the FCC does change this rule, it has to consider comments on the proposal, and changes may not take effect until after June's 3G auction, allowing national carriers one last time to buy spectrum at a discount.
FCC Weighing Changes to Auction Discount Rules
The FCC plans to alter how companies qualify for discounts in spectrum auctions. The rules came under fire recently after Dish Networks won $13 billion in spectrum by bidding through smaller entities.
AT&T Proposes Caps for Designated Entities
AT&T and a handful of other carriers today asked the FCC to consider a new way to define designated entities and small businesses in spectrum auctions moving forward. The proposal follows Dish Networks' use of designated entities — or small companies — to bid for spectrum in the AWS-3 auction on its behalf.
FCC to Fix Auction Bidding Rules for Designated Entities
The FCC is moving forward with plans to alter how companies use designated entities in spectrum auctions and qualify for discounts. The existing rules have been under fire since the close of the AWS-3 spectrum auction wherein Dish Networks won $13 billion in spectrum by bidding through smaller entities.
Dish's Designated Entities Under Attack
More organizations are piling on the designated entities that Dish Networks used to bid in this year's AWS-3 spectrum auction. Rather than bid directly, Dish had three small companies, in which it has an 85% stake, bid on its behalf.
FCC Suggests No Joint Bidding for Largest Carriers
The FCC wants to prevent the country's Tier 1 operators from filing joint bids in future spectrum auctions. The FCC recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering the matter, and is looking for comments on its belief that powerful carriers shouldn't be allowed to collude on spectrum purchases.