updated 04:21 pm EST, Mon November 19, 2012
Unused Verizon spectrum to go to rural, small operators
Verizon has signed a sale agreement with Panhandle Telecommunication Systems that will see the nation's largest wireless carrier selling off part of its unused wireless spectrum. The agreement, along with an earlier agreement with Nortex Communications, is part of an ongoing process in which Verizon will sell portions of the 700MHz spectrum following its clearance to buy spectrum from the cable companies. The Panhandle deal covers the Texas RSA 2-Hansford 700MHz lower B-block license, which spans 12 counties in the northwest part of Texas.
The Panhandle and Nortex deals are the first two that Verizon has signed in its spectrum sell-off. The deals are still subject to approval from the Federal Communications Commission. In a statement on the deal, Verizon restated its commitment to "being a good steward of the spectrum it owns." The carrier also plans to move spectrum into the control of another 20 rural operators through its LTE in Rural America leasing program.