Verizon-Alltel? Done -- the FCC joined the DOJ and said “OMG U can has buyout.” As BGR reports, they added a few more markets that Verizon will need to pull out of for anti-competitive reasons. So $28 billion dollars gets Verizon bragging rights as the US's largest carrier, bypassing AT&T.
The FCC didn't stop there, though. They also approved that whole Sprint-Clearwire deal we told you about in May. It's a little complicated, but the gist is that Clearwire is now an independent company, 51% owned by Sprint, the rest by Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Brighthouse. Clearwire will provide WiMAX service to all of the above, who will the presumably bend that sweet sweet data to their own services. Although AT&T didn't like this deal either (they really lost out today), the FCC was pretty effusive about the potential for WiMAX.
The thing we're most excited about, though is that the FCC has approved the contentious bands known as “White Space” for broadband use. “White Space” in this context refers to bands within the broadcast television spectrum that aren't used by regular TV channels. Both Microsoft and Google were pushing hard for the FCC to allow these unused 'in-between' parts of the spectrum for data and for awhile it wasn't looking very likely. This should get broadband to rural areas right quick, at the very least, and it could potentially really shake up the wireless industry. It's complicated, here's a quick blog roundup to get you started.