Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion
On Monday evening, Re/code wrote about the complicated set of rules that the FCC’s wireless bureau is hoping will be adopted for the TV spectrum auction that will take place in 2015. According to these restrictions, carriers with lots of spectrum like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, could be prohibited from bidding on up to one-third of the auctioned-off spectrum in a given area, at least when the bidding in that area reaches a particular price.
The auction rules would dictate how many licenses a wireless company could purchase by creating two classes of spectrum licenses: restricted and unrestricted. According to Re/code, all companies would be allowed to bid on the available spectrum at first, generally in blocks of 5 MHz. Then if the bidding reaches a “threshold price,” 30 MHz of the spectrum in that market would be reserved for smaller competitor companies.
Additionally, the FCC is looking to adopt new “spectrum screens” which would limit how much spectrum a wireless carrier could hold in a certain market. Under the rules, if a carrier tried to buy up more than a certain amount of spectrum in the market, that would trigger extra scrutiny at the FCC before the deal could go through. The upcoming availability of spectrum, combined with new rules for who can own it, has garnered a lot of attention.
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