FCC proposes auction of 4 spectrum bands

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Four bands of spectrum would be auctioned off to create new commercial wireless capacity under a Federal Communications Commission proposal released July 23.

Proceeds from the auction would be deposited in the Public Safety Trust Fund in order to fund the first-responder broadband network that the First Responder Network Authority, aka FirstNet, plans to create.

"The additional spectrum for mobile use will help ensure that the speed, capacity, and ubiquity of the nation's wireless networks keeps pace with the skyrocketing demand for mobile service," the proposal (.pdf) says.

The spectrum that the FCC is proposing to auction off would be the 1695-1710 megahertz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands.

"If we do this right, we can auction 55 megahertz for new mobile broadband uses. This may seem like a little regulatory feat. But it has the power to contribute big things to the economy," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in her statement on the proposal.

She added that securing funding for FirstNet through these auctions will give the FCC more flexibility in designing its incentive auctions, where television broadcaster spectrum will be repurposed for wireless use.

The National Broadband Plan, issued in 2010, called for the FCC to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for broadband use by 2020. As of last October, the FCC was on track to exceed its first goal to free up 300 MHz by 2015.

For more:
- download the proposal, FCC 13-102 (.pdf)

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