Feeds

FCC chair sides with GoYaSkypIntel in broadband wireless battle

Consumers rejoice, Verizon fumes

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Good news for smartphone users. Bad news for the big name wireless carriers. FCC chairman Kevin Martin has released suggested rules for an upcoming radio-spectrum auction that would allow consumers to attach any device and any application to U.S. broadband wireless networks - without approval from the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

With TV stations leaving the "700-MHz wireless band" in favor of digital transmission, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is set to auction off the vacated spectrum in early 2008, and Martin hopes to treat part of the spectrum like the anything-goes wired Internet, USA Today reports. "Whoever wins this spectrum has to provide...truly open broadband network - one that will open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers," Martin told the paper.

Speaking with The Register, an FCC official said that Martin was correctly quoted in the USA Today story and confirmed that the chairman has released draft rules for the auction that would create 22MHz of "open-access" spectrum.

"The chairman has proposed conditions that would apply to the winner of one large piece of spectrum in the upcoming auction," the official explained. "And those conditions are that the winner must build a network that allows consumers to attach any device or run any applications they chose - provided they don't interfere with the next - even if the device is not supported by that particular carrier."

The rules must be approved by the other four FCC commissioners. A vote "could happen later this summer," the official says.

"The idea behind the chairman's proposals is that they will help increase broadband deployment and keep America competitive with the rest of the world," the official continued. "They will allow U.S consumers to use wireless broadband in much the same way they use wireline or cable networks."

Several big-name high-tech companies have been lobbying the FCC to apply open-access rules to at least part of the 700-MHz band, including Google, Yahoo!, Skype, and Intel. Citing "a person familiar with the company's thinking," Dow Jones Newswires reports that Google is actually considering a bid for the spectrum.

Meanwhile, Martin's move poses a threat to current wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless, who clearly prefer having a bit more control over the broadband wireless spectrum. During a Senate hearing in June, Dick Lynch, Verizon Wireless executive vice president and chief technical officer, openly opposed open-access rules. "The auction needs to make the spectrum available in ways that will promote, not cripple, broadband," he said. "The commission should set auction rules that allow for full and fair competition by qualified bidders, without artificial and unwarranted constraints."

Chairman Martin's draft rules apply open-access restrictions to a pair of 11MHz bands. The auction covers 60MHz of spectrum in total.®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Rural mobile coverage: Tweeting twits to join chirping tits in UK's national parks
Yup, someone IS gabbering behind you on the hiking trail
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.