Chmn. Martin plans a vote on rules for the 700 MHz auction at the April 25 agenda meeting -- though he didn't circulate an order Wed. giving colleagues the usual 3 weeks to study the item, sources said Thurs. Martin asked other FCC members to waive this rule. He's expected to circulate an item as early as today (Fri.)...
Commissioners and staff have been meeting this week with representatives of parties interested in the 700 MHz auction. Commissioners hope to approve auction rules as quickly as possible so an auction can begin in the fall.
Meanwhile, Public Knowledge, the Media Access Project, Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, the New America Foundation and Free Press urged the auction rules include principles such as wireless net neutrality, comparable to conditions approved in the AT&T-BellSouth merger order. "The timing is critical; services have not yet been deployed in the 700 MHz band, which means that auction winners have time to incorporate the openness principle into the design of their networks from their inception," the group said in one of the 3 filings to the Commission.
Allying as Save Our Spectrum, the groups recommended that 30 MHz of the 60 MHz being auctioned be licensed for "open access," which they said would "create opportunities for a 'third pipe' competitors that can challenge the market dominance of cable modem and DSL services..."
"This is the last large auction of prime spectrum in the foreseeable future," said Michael Calabrese, vp of the New America Foundation.
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