FCC Doesn't Really Decide Much About Upcoming 700 MHz Auction

The FCC was supposed to release rules for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction yesterday, but after delaying its meeting for several hours (apparently as commissioners argued in private), it didn't announce much of anything at all. The only rule announced was that it will offer licenses in a variety of geographic sizes, from local to regional, a move which allows smaller local operators to bid on licenses covering small areas. But that was about it; the Commission simply invited public comment on a host of other issues, including Frontline's proposal for a shared commercial-public safety network, as well as open-access rules and other restrictions some consumer groups have asked for. Despite all the apparent discussion during the day by commissioners, nothing much changed,. The FCC is on something of a tight schedule, since the 700 MHz auction has to be completed by the end of January, and the thought that the auction might happen as early as June now appears to be gone.


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