McCain, Kerry weigh in on 700 MHz

When it comes to the 700 MHz spectrum, everyone has an opinion that they want to share. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to have a hearing today on whether open access rules should be levied on at least some of the companies that win licenses in the upcoming 700 MHz auction.

 In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the FCC should write 700 MHz rules that foster innovative wireless broadband services and improve first-responder communications. Specifically, Kerry said that the upcoming 700 MHz auction will give the U.S. a chance to move closer to its goal of providing universal, affordable broadband access by the end of 2007.

Likewise, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in a letter dated June 12, urged Chairman Martin to consider establishing a national public safety licensee to manage a 10 MHz "E" Block in the upper portion of the 700 MHz band that would be for a nationwide, interoperable broadband network. McCain also advocated that the FCC consider a mix of license sizes to facilitate the deployment of wireless broadband.

Neither Kerry nor McCain specifically mention Frontline Wireless, but both of their letters suggest some of the same proposals that Frontline embraces. Google, of course, also advocates an open access philosophy and has been pressing the FCC to reserve a portion of that spectrum for broadband communications.

For more details:
- see this RCR article
- see this CNET article