Commissioners' statements re: the auction rules

Here's a redux of the FCC commissioners' statements regarding the public safety spectrum rules and open access requirements for the upcoming 700 MHz auction:

Chairman Kevin Martin: "We will ensure these open platform rules are implemented, through significant enforcement mechanisms that place the burden on the licensee to demonstrate their compliance and that their policies are fair and reasonable. The auction provides a rare chance to promote innovation and consumer choice without disrupting existing networks or business plans. Indeed, the vast majority of spectrum used for wireless services will remain without such restrictions." More

Commissioner Michael Copps: "As I have many times said, my first preference-by a long country mile--would have been a fully-funded, federally-funded public-safety-grade network reserved solely for first responders and built to the specifications they deem essential for their job of protecting you and me. At this late date, that is apparently not to be. In light of the options before us today, then, I believe that pursuing a shared public-private model--and trying to make it work--is the next best choice. There are no guaranteed outcomes here, but we have to find a way--finally--to get this done." More

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein: "Open Access. While this item does not deliver everything consumers and innovators wanted, or many of the improvements I suggested, our decision today represents an important step, if a modest one, in the right direction. We can be proud to say we are offering consumers a new paradigm they have longed for and certainly deserve... We need to unleash them from the shackles of a handful of gatekeepers who dominate access to the wireless mass market." More

Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate: "A majority of this Commission has agreed to the rules established by this item and I cannot say they are totally wrong. I may not agree with their reasoning or philosophy, but this is a very close call... Overall I support the item, noting my strong support for the portions of the order related to public safety service, while being lukewarm regarding the portion of the item that places what my colleagues call "open access" in the C Block on devices." More

Commissioner Robert McDowell: "1) While we can agree on the destination--consumers should be able to enjoy device and application portability if they want --we may respectfully disagree about the best path to get there; 2) In an unencumbered auction, any winning bidder is free to offer those features without restrictions; 3) Large wealthy corporations interested in a particular business plan do not need the government's help in this auction; and 4) In the absence of market failure, I favor a market-based pro-competition solution to the challenges raised in this proceeding over a prescriptive regulatory approach." More

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