Sprint is close to securing $45 billion in debt financing from a group of banks to make a bid for T-Mobile US, according to a report from Dealreporter. However, a separate report from Bloomberg painted a more conservative view of the deal and said that top Sprint executives have not yet decided if they want to pursue a bid.
The FCC, as had been expected, approved a CTIA plan to partner with two Los Angeles TV stations to conduct a pilot project with the aim of showing that the stations can share the same broadcast spectrum.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressed skepticism about a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US in a meeting with Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son, according to a Reuters report. Wheeler's pushback against a merger between the Nos. 3 and 4 carriers follows a clear signal from the Department of Justice that such a deal would face intense scrutiny.
The FCC is doubling down on the investment to connect schools and libraries by allocating $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband service. An estimated 20 million students in at least 15,000 schools will get access to a broadband connection through the expanded program.
The auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block is starting to wind down, and Dish Network still appears poised to walk away with the spectrum, according to a financial analyst. Based on current activity, the auction will likely end sometime in the next few days.
Idaho is dealing with a potential shortfall in its budget because it is faced with the possibility of having to pony up $14.5 million in payments to CenturyLink and Education Networks of America for operating a statewide network for the state's high schools, according to The Spokesman Review.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son are scheduled to meet with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today, in which the topic of industry consolidation is likely to come up, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The report comes as there are growing indications that regulators would be opposed to a deal to merge Sprint and T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. carrier.
The FCC is considering a rule that would require wireless carriers and providers of over-the-top messaging applications to provide text-to-911 service by the end of 2014. The FCC is seeking comment on that deadline. On Thursday, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue.
The FCC plans to issue a report and order on the planned structure of the incentive auctions of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum sometime this spring, and then start accepting bids from TV stations for the reverse part of the auction in early 2015.
T-Mobile US is buying lower 700 MHz A Bock spectrum from Verizon Wireless for $2.36 billion, but argues that it still needs more low-band spectrum to compete more effectively with Verizon and AT&T Mobility.