The Federal Communications Commission is seeking more public input regarding rules for the 700 MHz auction the agency wants to commence in January. The FCC approved preliminary rules for the auction but wants comment about uses for the spectrum. Chief concerns center on setting aside certain portions of the spectrum for open access and a nationwide public-private public-safety wireless network. One thing is for sure, both Congress and the FCC want the auction to usher in a third broadband pipe into U.S. homes as a competitor to cable and DSL companies. That bodes well for OFDM-based technologies like WiMAX.
Meanwhile, a group of 21 small and medium sized wireless and wireline carriers as well as state agencies are concerned that the FCC plan to favor large geographic wireless licenses over small ones during the 700 MHz auction in the fall. Alltel, Aloha Partners, Dobson, Leap Wireless, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular and the Rural Cellular Association are among the concerned parties. The coalition descended on Washington this week to air their grievances with the House Telecom subcommittee.