The FCC will set the rules for the 700 MHz auction, possibly as soon as next month, says the NY Times. Depending on that ruling, the spectrum could be used for voice services for cellular carriers, emergency responders, or for commercial high-speed broadband.
Among those trying to influence the outcome are three of the nation’s four largest cellular providers, rural and regional wireless carriers, cable and satellite television companies and a range of technology companies — including Google and Yahoo.
Along with other wireless technology proposals, the auction could reshape the debate over who controls access to the networks that deliver digital content to consumers. Opening the door to more network competition nationally could have a tremendous economic impact.
“This offers the potential for a real game changer in broadband spectrum,” said John M. R. Kneuer, assistant secretary for communications and information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department. “It can both generate new innovation and lower prices.”
Last month Mr. Hundt launched a Washington-based organization called Frontline Wireless and filed a proposal with the F.C.C. to create an “open access” network intended to support both public safety services and the creation of a system to offer wholesale broadband network service.
Unlike the current practice of American cellular companies, which lock customers’ handsets to a particular carrier, Mr. Hundt’s network envisions a system that would let a consumer connect a device like an Apple iPhone or a Palm hand-held device upon purchasing the device at a store like Best Buy.
Public-safety organizations should learn more details this summer about the $1 billion in communications interoperability grants to be distributed by the end of the year. NTIA is mandated to distribute the grants by Sept. 30th, but states need to submit projects that will address interoperability “gaps” identified in a DHS report released in January.
Related DailyWireless articles include; National Broadband: Fee & Free, Pushing for “White Space”, Microsoft’s “Free” Phone?, Yahoo/Google Into 700MHz?, Zune Phone Goes WiMAX?, White Space Redux, McCain Rethinks 700MHz Legislation, McCain Wants Commercial 700 MHz for Police, Alcatel Does EVDO in DC 700 MHz Net, Verizon Makes its Move for Universal Service Fund, Frontline’s 700MHz Pitch: Sharing is Good, Tom Ridge: Answer Cyren Call, FCC to Rural Users: 700MHz is the Ticket, 700MHz in 10 Steps, Senate Committee Pushes Interop, Joint Commecial/Muni Proposed for 700Mhz and Oregon’s $500 Million Statewide Wireless Network.