CTIA opposes FCC's free wireless broadband plan

The comment deadline for the FCC's controversial plan to auction nationwide spectrum in the AWS-3 band that would require the winner to offer free wireless broadband services was Friday, and not surprisingly, T-Mobile and CTIA are openly opposing the plan.

The commission is proposing to combine the 2155 to 2175 MHz band with the 2175 MHz to 2180 MHz band to create a 25-megahertz swath of spectrum that would support a nationwide license. The spectrum is referred to as advanced wireless services-3 and would require the licensee to dedicate 25 percent of its network capacity to free broadband service, install a network-based Internet filtering system to block pornography and allow open access to third-party devices and applications.

T-Mobile has already been vocal about its concerns over potential interference in the band since it is the largest licensee of AWS-1 spectrum. CTIA claims the FCC is not dealing in good faith with T-Mobile.

"How can the FCC expect investors and the carriers they fund to show up at future auctions and fully utilize their spectrum if they have no confidence that the FCC is an honest broker?" the CTIA said in a June 25 letter to the FCC. "Now the FCC is planning to pull the rug out from under those same licensees by developing new rules that will cause harmful interference to their customers."

Reply comments to the FCC are due Aug. 11.

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