FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is recommending to his fellow commissioners that the FCC reject T-Mobile US' petition to increase the amount of spectrum set aside for smaller carriers to bid on in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. The move is a victory for AT&T and Verizon Wireless and a major blow to T-Mobile, which has argued since last summer that the size of the reserve should be increased from 30 MHz of spectrum in a given market to 40 MHz. T-Mobile has been increasing its lobbying on the issue the last several weeks as a formal decision neared.
T-Mobile US' push to increase the size of the spectrum reserve in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum got a shot in the arm after the Department of Justice urged the FCC to give "considerable weight" to how large the reserve should be. However, according to a Washington Post report, T-Mobile's lobbying efforts on the issue are alienating allies in Washington and could backfire.
T-Mobile US said its network management policy of throttling the speeds of smartphone customers on its unlimited LTE plans once they hit 21 GB of data usage in a month and are on congested cell sites is permitted under the FCC's net neutrality rules.
NEW YORK--Whether it's the broadband stimulus program or the Connect America Fund, there has been no shortage of efforts in recent years to drive broadband into rural areas. However, a growing number of service providers say that there should be more focus on providing middle mile fiber-based networks that can backhaul traffic and connect with major Internet peering points.
T-Mobile US' battle with AT&T Mobility over the size of the spectrum reserve in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz airwaves--and over access to low-band spectrum generally--moved into a new venue. T-Mobile asked the FCC to block AT&T's deal to buy some 700 MHz spectrum in parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, arguing that with the deal "AT&T will prove far more able to exclude competitors, raise their costs, damage their businesses and ultimately lessen competition" in the markets in question.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report that analyzes potential interference in the 3.5 GHz band, which is considered viable for small cell use. Google and other advocates will likely view the report as a positive for the spectrum, as exclusion zones with restricted usage are now believed to be much smaller.
The FCC is taking heat from broadcasters of various stripes after the agency denied various petitions they had made on the rules for next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum.
United States Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) have introduced the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 as a way to improve broadband access and close what they call an education gap for all students.
The FCC has passed a new set of rules that will allow interconnected VoIP providers like Vonage and Ooma to obtain telephone numbers directly.
The FCC voted to reboot and modernize the Universal Service Fund's Lifeline program by adding broadband service to the mix and having a third party establish eligibility for the program, which is intended to provide discounted telecom services to low-income consumers. The vote was 3-2, with Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly dissenting.