The National Telecommunications and Information Administration petition the Federal Communications Commission to require carriers to unlock mobile devices, citing the need for greater competition and consumer choice in the marketplace. A Sept. 17 NTIA statement says the petition requests the FCC immediately initiate the process of setting rules to allow consumers to use mobile devices with any compatible network.
Proceeds from the auction will be designated for use by FirstNet, the nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network, as required under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The bands set for auction are the 1915-1920 megahertz band and the 1995-2000 MHz band.
One of the agreements deals with the Specialized Mobile Radio service, which provides radio communications for industrial use. The new arrangement with Canada simplifies the process to add users in the band, the FCC says in a press release Aug. 20. It affects services in the 896-901 and 935-940 megahertz bands operating within 100 kilometers of the border.
"To the best of my knowledge, the commission is extremely unlikely to attract affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox to this auction," said Preston Padden, executive director of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, adding that he wasn't aware of any affiliate planning to participate.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed three spectrum bands for mobile broadband, including one band used by a range of military services, in a Federal Register notice published Aug. 20.
"Government's got to create the environment for these new technologies...to ensure the safety of the public or to allow the public to ensure its own safety," said Jamie Barnett, a former head of the Federal Communications Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. "There's so many out there that need to be discovered and found."
President Obama nominated Michael O'Rielly to replace recently retired Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell, the White House said in an Aug. 1 press release. The term would last until June 30, 2014, the press release says.
Federal Communications Chairman Nominee Tom Wheeler moved one step closer to leading the agency July 30. The Senate will likely vote on Wheeler's nomination following the August recess, at the same time they vote on the forthcoming Republican nominee.
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.
Legislators and wireless carriers faced off at a congressional subcommittee hearing on the Federal Communications Commission's forthcoming spectrum auction, debating whether the focus of the auction should be to encourage a more diverse wireless marketplace or to let free and open competition drive maximum revenues for deficit reduction and funding of FirstNet.