White House opposes FCC plan on AWS-3

The White House opposes the FCC's plan to create a free, nationwide broadband network using AWS-3 spectrum, which the FCC is set to vote on Dec. 18.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin expressing the White House's disapproval of the plan. "The administration believes that the (airwaves) should be auctioned without price or product mandate," Gutierrez said in the letter. "The history of FCC spectrum auctions has shown that the potential for problems increases in instances where licensing is overly prescriptive or designed around unproven business models."

The proposal, pushed by Martin, would create a nationwide license in the 2155-2180 MHz band that would require the winning bidder to open up 25 percent of its network for free broadband access with a filter to keep pornography off of it. M2Z Networks, an advocate of this plan, has pushed for these rules.

Telecom heavyweights, mot notably T-Mobile USA, have pushed back, arguing that broadband service in this spectrum would create interference in the AWS-1 spectrum (which FCC engineers have disputed), and that an auction should not be tailored to any one specific business.    

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see M2Z's response in this release

Related Articles:
T-Mobile fires back at M2Z ahead of AWS-3 auction
Telecom operators urge FCC to change proposed AWS-3 auction rules
NTIA head opposes AWS-3 auction stipulations

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