FCC Wants No Joint Bidding for Tier 1 Carriers

Posted by at 12:04 pm on October 14, 2014

The FCC wants to prevent the country’s Tier 1 operators from filing joint bids in future spectrum auctions.

The FCC recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering the matter, and is looking for comments on its belief that powerful carriers shouldn’t be allowed to collude on spectrum purchases. The FCC also hopes to receive comments about whether or not the largest carriers can submit joint bids with smaller carriers.

The FCC had already floated the idea earlier this year when Chairman Tom Wheeler said Sprint and T-Mobile should not be allowed to form a joint venture for the purpose of purchasing spectrum. The NPRM further looks to define what “designated entities” are allowed to do with their spectrum. Designated entities can be small businesses or rural phone companies. Under the current rules, DEs have to build their own wireless networks before allowing others to access the spectrum, but the FCCs proposal would allow them to lease their spectrum to larger carriers without first deploying their own service.

The FCC’s new rules won’t be finalized before the November 13 AWS-3 auction, but likely will be for the 600MHz incentive auction scheduled for mid-2015.

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