Battle over 700 MHz waged in the Senate

The battle over what rules the FCC should put in place to govern the highly coveted 700-MHz band auction was waged at a Senate Commerce Committee meeting last week.

Google and its allies from the network-neutrality battles are arguing for open-access rules in the new spectrum, while AT&T and others, which have successfully blocked network-neutrality legislation in the past, say that the market should determine how the spectrum is used.

Meanwhile, Frontline Wireless and others advocate a commercial/public partnership by which an operator would build a commercial network but lease part of it for public-safety use. Two presidential candidates have weighed in on the debate. Republican candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Friday urged the FCC to add another 30 megahertz to the public safety band. Democratic candidate John Edwards, former Senator from North Carolina, wants the FCC to set aside as much as half of the spectrum for wholesalers, who could then resell the bandwidth to small companies.

Still yet another group, the Wireless Founders Coalition for Innovation, is asking for part of the commercial spectrum to be set aside, in particular for use by smaller entrepreneurs and inventors. The Coalition consists of more than a dozen wireless industry veterans, including the co-founder of Virgin Mobile USA.

For more about the 700 MHz debate:
- read this article from Mobile Tech Today

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