FCC holds broadband consultation

28 Sep 2009

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on whether more spectrum is needed for wireless broadband services as it continues to develop the national broadband plan, FierceWireless reports. Since the FCC announced in April 2009 that it had begun the development of the plan, which it will hand to congress in February 2010, several companies have raised concerns that, following the recent explosion in mobile data traffic, the US will not have sufficient spectrum available to meet the demand for wireless broadband in the near future. Therefore, the regulator said it would seek ‘additional comment on the fundamental question of whether current spectrum allocations, including but not limited to the prime bands below 3.7GHz, are adequate to support the near and longer-term demands of wireless broadband.’ The consultation is open until 23 October.

T-Mobile has recommended that the FCC re-auction the D-Block in the 700MHz band for commercial use. The spectrum failed to sell in the 2008 tender as the frequencies are linked to public safety groups and potential bidders reportedly did not want to share that spectrum with police officers and firefighters. Meanwhile AT&T and Verizon have suggested that the block of spectrum be divided regionally, allowing local public safety groups to use it as they see fit to raise funds to build their own networks.