FCC considering new rules for wireless spectrum auctions

FCC considering new rules for wireless spectrum auctions

In a recent post released on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s blog, the agency's Chairman Tom Wheeler said that new rules are under consideration for wireless spectrum auctions.

With a wireless auction scheduled to be held early next year, Wheeler said in the blog post that the new rules being considered by the FCC will essentially ensure that smaller carriers can offer more substantial competition to the bigwig carriers. In addition, the new rules are also intended to prevent abuses by big carriers.

Revealing that the draft revised rules for wireless spectrum auctions have been circulated to FCC commissioners, Wheeler said that the new rules "would provide greater flexibility for qualified small businesses so that they can better compete;" and added: "In addition … the modernized rules will increase transparency and efficiency to prevent potential gaming or abuse."

Specifically speaking, the new rules proposed by Wheeler for wireless spectrum auctions will primarily address two pertinent issues being faced by the agency ahead of its spectrum auction in 2016.

One issue involves a request by T-Mobile and other "small" carriers to increase the amount of spectrum set aside for them; while the other involves the exploitation of a loophole by Dish Network during the latest spectrum auction. The loophole allowed Dish to claim more than $3 billion in bid credits earmarked for small businesses.

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