The FCC is poised to open more of the 5 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use, though the exact rules for doing so are not yet finalized.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC should seize a near-term opportunity to use more of the 5 GHz band for unlicensed wireless use, and also explore ways to make use of guard bands that will be produced in the 600 MHz spectrum auction for unlicensed purposes.
The FCC plans to issue a report and order on the planned structure of the incentive auctions of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum sometime this spring, and then start accepting bids from TV stations for the reverse part of the auction in early 2015.
The FCC said in a public notice that it will start an auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block on Jan. 14, 2014, its first major spectrum auction since 2008. The auction is likely to draw interest from Sprint, while Dish Network has signaled it will likely not participate.
President Obama nominated Michael O'Rielly, a top aide to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), for a spot as one of the two Republican commissioners of the FCC.
President Obama is expected to nominate former CTIA chief Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the FCC, according to multiple reports, which would place the former telecom industry lobbyist at the head of regulating an increasingly complex wireless industry.
Tom Wheeler, a former CTIA president who is now a venture capitalist and a larger donor to President Obama, is a lead choice to succeed Julius Genachowski as the chairman of the FCC, according to a TIME report.
Now that President Obama has been re-elected, many in the wireless industry are trying to determine how the FCC might change during his second term. Most agree that even if FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski steps down during Obama's second term, the FCC's policy priorities are unlikely to charge very much.
The FCC voted to remove technical restrictions on the 800 MHz band, allowing the deployment of 3G and LTE service on the spectrum, which should clear the way for Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) to eventually
The Senate on Monday confirmed President Barack Obama's two nominees to the Federal Communications Commission, a move that will bring the FCC back to its full complement of five commissioners.