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Verizon pushes FCC to reconsider restrictions on upcoming spectrum auction

Verizon isn't taking too kindly to proposed regulations on an upcoming spectrum auction, and is hoping the FCC will change its ways before the sale opens next year. The auction, which will have extremely valuable 600MHz spectrum up for grabs in mid-2015, is expected to have restrictions imposed on it to limit big players like Verizon and AT&T from taking it all for themselves.

The FCC is proposing that the auction have rules that will limit any one company from picking up more than a third of the spectrum available in any given market. The goal is to open up the doors for smaller players like T-Mobile, Sprint and regional carriers to pick up the much-needed low-band spectrum, which is usually unobtainable because of the high bids larger carriers can put in.

Verizon has spoke to members of the FCC this week to express its displeasure with the potential rules, saying that it's putting unfair restrictions on larger carriers, even though the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile have the means to place large bids for spectrum:

"T-Mobile and Sprint are large corporations with established, well-financed corporate parents. 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."

Verizon claims that Sprint and T-Mobile, owned by SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom, respectively, could easily pay what Verizon and AT&T have for these airwaves. Though the FCC's goal is to distribute some of the low-band spectrum to smaller carriers, it also has to consider the fact that it needs to raise at least $7 billion in the auction to pay the broadcast companies that are giving up the spectrum. An auction without Verizon or AT&T may drastically limit the amount of money raised by the auction, even though it is putting up 30MHz of spectrum for grabs.

Source: Reuters

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Reader comments

Verizon pushes FCC to reconsider restrictions on upcoming spectrum auction

48 Comments

I work in tv broadcasting. Our current frequency is what is to auctioned off. It's going to be interesting how the FCC thinks they are going to force us to auction off our spectrum. This is going to be a clusterfuck to say the least.

I'm more curious as to why the FCC has to pay billions for it. Just don't renew the licenses and auction it. Broadcasters don't own it.

so your going to bankrupt entire buisness's becuase they have somethign that another company wants?  These broadcasters have been paying hundreds of thoudsands if not millions to use the spectrum.  Now becuase the cellular companies want it ohh too hell with the thousands of people that work for TV stations that happen to broadcast on that frequency?

Sure, 100+ channels and still nothing on. Seriously, as I read this though, they're getting $7 billion in return. If I had my way, I'd stop OTA completely and farm all of that single and double digit spectrum to wireless data. Sorry for the employees but you already exist on cable so all you're doing is maybe downsizing. Something damn near every other industry has had to do, so yea, boohoo.
Progress marches on and there are casualties. Otherwise, fifty years from now, we're the equivalent of Cuba locked in time to save a relative handful of jobs who are becoming obsolete. And to B Frank, I want cable provides put in history's dust bin. You sell your channel on the wireless for what people are willing to pay for it. Nationwide wireless is doable in the lower frequencies with the range they get and throughout rural America is easily covered as well.

But broadcast has to always be on even through bad weather and blackouts for the EAS. So you can't cancel it in favor of cable or satellite.

I believe EAS already has reserved frequencies. No reason we can't kick corporate off the rest and put it to wireless bidding.

EAS does not have a reserved requencies, broadcast stations are required by law to operate and maintain EAS equipment and insert it into their stream w/o interuption.

I would love to see better coverage for all areas, that is not what this is about.  It's about the financial strain its going to put on these companies that have to change frequencies vs the ones who don't.  7 billion will cover maybe 30% of the cost its going to take to move all these companies to other frequencies.  If it were just an exchange between the OTA channels and the Wireless companies there would not be a problem.  the Government is stepping in and undervaluing these companies to build up another one simply because of lobbyists.
 

Exactly. There's a reason why TV is on this frequency: It goes far distances to cover many people. The 700mhz selloff already took a lot away from TV stations, and there's a reason why TV isn't broadcasted on Wi-Fi frequencies.

If its done for Nationwide FREE public access, then maybe.  However, how YOU want the spectrum used isn't how millions of others use it today.

I'm not sure you know what broadcasting digitally is, all OTA stations have been doing it for over a decade, including radio.

So, how would a rural resident get TV?  They can't get cable run to their house...not economically viable to wire up all those farms...Satellite is too expensive for them...can't stream TV, (no high speed internet possible), the only TV they get is b/c the spectrum carries such long distances...and its Free to them.

Not everyone can afford our toys or luxury items.

If only there were a long range spectrum freed up for a smaller unlimited data un-carrier to run LTE to their homes... What a thought! 

They are digitially broadcasting. Digital broadcasts still require spectrum. Or do you think cell phones are analog?

Not entirely true. Cell phones on the same carrier don't bleed thru. They did when they were analog. TV channels are all digital now so there shouldn't be a problem.

This is GREAT news for everyone in America. If T-Mobile gets more spectrum at the rate they're adding customers it will force Att and Verizon to drop their prices. This is a win-win for everyone.

So empty threats from ATT and moaning from Verizon. Save your breath, nobody believes Americans will benefit from the big two ruling the prime airwaves.

The best part is that if no company can get more than a third... then we may end up with phones that work on multiple carriers because they all use the same frequency.

Off Topic....

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Kindly help. Thanks before.

Really the only reason Verizon is making any noise about this is because they really are starting to worry about T mobiles affect on the wireless Industry... Say what you will about tmo and their coverage... They are really taking subscribers away from all the other carriers... Although they are still pulling in new subscribers.. Tmo is really causing some concern. Verizon kept quiet when ATT was complaining... But after tmo pulled in more subs than the big two combined.... Now Verizon has something to say

I love Verizon only because it says I have to in my contract. Verizon's draconian policy of allowing devices on their network only after lengthy testing is frustrating as all get out. How many non-ipad tablets have Verizon LTE built-in? A whole lot less than AT&T. Verizon is all about selling things under the 2 year contract and most tablets (and laptops) aren't sold this way. They really want to avoid anyone being free to leave at anytime, and having a network better than the rest is the other way, and making sure no-one else has spectrum seem par for them.

Better than T-Mobile, even with the latest tablet deals, we have exactly 2: the Tab 3 and the Nexus 7, and the Nexus is indefinitely backordered. Enjoy your iPad or bring your own.