updated 04:00 pm EST, Mon December 15, 2008
AWS-3 meeting cancelled
The Federal Communications Commission has canceled a meeting scheduled for December 18th that aimed to address some of the issues relating to the FCC's sale of the 2,100MHz Advanced Wireless Spectrum 3 (AWS-3) based largely on a letter sent from a senator and congressman, according to a Monday report. In the letter sent on Friday, Western Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller and California Congressman Henry Waxman urged FCC chairman Kevin Martin to concentrate instead on the upcoming digital TV transition and other, more pressing matters during December's meeting. Despite the cancellation, proponents of the auction such as M2Z Networks point out that commissioners such as Rockefeller and Waxman do, in fact, have a statutory deadline by which to vote on the AWS-3 auction's agenda items.
The sale of the AWS-3 spectrumis highly controversial, as earlier this year, T-Mobile called for a delay of the sale, arguing the band's 2,155-2,180MHz range may conflict and interfere with its own 3G data network bands purchased from the FCC just two years ago that operates on the 1,700MHz band. Under the FCC's proposal, a quarter of any bandwidth won in the AWS-3 auction is to be earmarked for free services, offering open access to compatible hardware with restrictions imposed to ensure only family-friendly content slips through.
Opponents of the wireless spectrum plan have primarily involved carriers, which have publicly argued that they would prefer to have the market dictate the services and thus let any winning bidder charge for all of its service.