Wheeler Doesn’t Want More Restrictions

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants the agency to reject T-Mobile’s request that more airwaves be set aside for smaller wireless companies to bid on during the 2016 incentive auction, Reuters reported. “While some parties have petitioned the commission to increase the size of the reserve, the draft order on reconsideration I am circulating today would maintain the reserve size at the current level,” Wheeler said in a blog post. “The draft order concludes that the current reserve size of 30 megahertz balances the desire to make low-band spectrum available to parties with limited holdings while facilitating competitive bidding for all auction participants.” The rules being circulated to the FCC will also cap the amount of bidding credits that small businesses and designated entities would have during the auction to $150 million. Also, the rules will ban nationwide carriers from entering into joint bidding arrangements for the auction. “The rules adopted last year permit national carriers to bid for reserve spectrum in markets in which they have limited low-band spectrum and do not restrict any reserve-eligible bidder from bidding on unreserved licenses,” Wheeler wrote. “There will be significant spectrum made available in all markets of the country to all bidders. As a result, consumers will benefit directly from competition in all parts of the country.”

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