FCC mulls another spectrum auction

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has scheduled a vote on rules for another spectrum auction. This auction would include 25 megahertz in the 2155 MHz to 2180 MHz band and would require the winning bidder to offer free broadband service under a strict buildout schedule.

It's a similar plan to what M2Z Networks proposed back in 2006. The company asked the FCC for 25 megahertz of vacant spectrum in the 2155 MHz to 2175 MHz band to offer free wireless broadband service. The FCC subsequently dismissed M2Z's request. More recently, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced new legislation, known as the Wireless International Nationwide for Families Act, that would direct the FCC to auction unused spectrum, the 2155 MHz to 2180MHz band, and require the winner to offer a free wireless broadband network that reaches 95 percent of the U.S. population within 10 years.

"We've had a variety of proposals that had come into the commission originally where some people wanted us to give them the spectrum," said Martin in an RCR Wireless News article. The FCC chairman said a vote may be held at the agency's upcoming June 12 meeting, but added it is possible the measure could be approved before that date.

Martin said a licensee of the 2155-2180 MHz spectrum would have to provide a free service tier, and would have to reach 50 percent of the population in four years and 95 percent of the population by the end of the license term.

To read more about the FCC's auction plans:
- check out this article from RCR Wireless News

Related stories:
- Congresswoman proposes free wireless broadband. See this wireless broadband story
- M2Z Networks pushes broadband for the masses. See this M2Z Networks story