FCC will not dedicate more airwaves to smaller wireless carriers in 2016 auction

FCC will not dedicate more airwaves to smaller wireless carriers in 2016 auction

The US federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a Thursday blog post that there is no need to set aside more airwaves for smaller wireless carriers in an auction likely to be held in 2016.

Rejecting the requests of T-Mobile US and other smaller wireless carriers to dedicate more airwaves for smaller carriers in the auction, Wheeler said in the blog post that the level sold exclusively to smaller carriers in the auction will be the same as the level which was decided last year.

Wheeler's decision is apparently rooted in the fact that US residents spend more time using their mobile phones. In such a scenario, the FCC evidently wants to set aside a large chunk of the available spectrum - airwaves which facilitate the transmission of TV, radio and several other signals - to cell service.

In response to the call by smaller carriers to have more spectrum earmarked for them in the next-year auction, Wheeler said that the FCC is already taking the requisite measures to increase competition. Towards that end, the agency would impose a cap on the spectrum that could be sold to the two bigwig wireless carriers --- AT&T and Verizon.

Noting that "there will be significant spectrum made available in all markets of the country to all bidders," Wheeler said in the blog post: "As a result, consumers will benefit directly from competition in all parts of the country."

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