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FCC Keeps Auction Reserve at 30 MHz

Article Comments  6  

Jun 25, 2015, 1:44 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The FCC today finalized its proposed rules for next year's 600 MHz spectrum auction and kept the reserve for smaller carriers at 30 MHz. T-Mobile and others petitioned the FCC to raise the reserve to 40 MHz, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler believes the 30 MHz cap offers plenty of opportunity for those who may bid. "The Incentive Auction offers one of the last opportunities for competitors to acquire significant quantities of low-band spectrum," said Wheeler. "With more than 70% of low-band spectrum in the hands of just two providers, one of the Commission's priorities is to ensure that multiple providers have a meaningful opportunity to acquire these valuable airwaves, which is critical to competition among wireless carriers. This is why the Commission voted to set aside this reserve a year ago. The draft Order concludes that the current reserve size of 30 MHz balances the desire to make low-band spectrum available to parties with limited holdings while facilitating competitive bidding for all auction participants." AT&T and Verizon Wireless will not be allowed to bid on 30 MHz of the airwaves in each market, which will be set aside for companies with less scale and fewer resources. The FCC also proposed changes to how it handles bids from designated entities and will close a loophole exploited by Dish Networks earlier this year to score a discount on spectrum. Dish relied on small companies to bid in its stead during the AWS-3 auction. Because the entities were under a certain size, they earned a 25% discount on the licenses that amounted to $3 billion. Dish's competitors complained and the FCC said it will put new rules in place for the 600 MHz auction to prevent such misuse. "We must also make sure that small businesses receiving credits are exercising independent decision-making authority. We will not allow small businesses to serve as a stalking horse for another party," said Wheeler. The FCC will vote on the rules during its next open meeting, scheduled for July.

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Slammer

Jun 25, 2015, 7:43 PM

Almost There.

The duopoly is almost complete.

VZW and AT&T have effectively secured the industry leaving T-Mobile, Sprint and the other smaller carriers with no way to build regardless of how much they spend to expand. This was a very important auction and a chance for T-Mobile and Sprint to have a balance allotment of spectrum to offensively compete on a higher level.

This essentially plays into the more money for government rather than procreating more diverse consumer choice.

John B.
John,
As far as the smaller carriers i.e. C-Spire, US Cellular I agree with you. But Sprint and T-Mobile are not small companies. They have the means to bid on the spectrum, wanting out of the US market and giving prefrence to their other markets ...
(continues)
...
"T-Mobile, Sprint and the other smaller carriers have no way to build regardless of how much they spend to expand.."

Surely you believe they must WIN the auction bid to WIN spectrum to expand, right? That's how it goes. That's how Verizon has bee...
(continues)
Without AT&T and Verizon how you think the FCC gonna raise enough money to buy back the spectrum from the TV broadcasters?
...
 
 
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