FCC approves radio-spectrum auction
Ben Charney writes on C|Net News:
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday formally approved an auction of a large swath of the radio spectrum crucial to cell phone and other wireless services.
There was little doubt the FCC would approve the auction. But the FCC had been facing pressure to rejigger the auction rules to allow participation of all types of cell phone operators, including rural operators. The rules for the auction adopted Thursday do just that, according to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
Added FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy: "We want to make sure we have maximum flexibility and for smaller entities to come in and bid."
The commission's unanimous vote sets the stage for the largest radio-wave auction (about 90 megahertz of spectrum) for cell phone operators since 2000. Because spectrum is rarely available in such large chunks, the auction represents one of the biggest opportunities for both large and small cell phone operators to fill out coverage areas.