Frontline asks FCC to reconsider auction rules

Following Verizon's lawsuit against the FCC trying to block the open access rules for next year's spectrum auction, Frontline Wireless LLC filed a petition for the FCC to reconsider its rules that shut out small bidders. In addition, AT&T is looking for relief from a rule that requires some spectrum be set aside for public safety agencies, PC World reports.

Following Verizon's lawsuit against the FCC trying to block the open access rules for next year's spectrum auction, Frontline Wireless LLC filed a petition for the FCC to reconsider its rules that shut out small bidders. In addition, AT&T is looking for relief from a rule that requires some spectrum be set aside for public safety agencies, PC World reports.

The rules require bidders to reach a service agreement with public safety officials before the auction, and the FCC's decision to deny bidders the spectrum if an agreement is not reached is "an extreme penalty," AT&T said in its petition.

And there are yet more petitions. A total of 10 companies have asked the FCC to reconsider its rules. Frontline and some consumer groups had wanted a requirement that the winning bidder of a portion of the spectrum resell the spectrum at wholesale rates. Small businesses can't compete against large wireless carriers unless they adopt a wholesale model, the company said.

"Wholesaling is also the only model a new nationwide wireless network operator could realistically afford to adopt, given the massive costs associated with providing retail service -- consider Verizon's 2,300 retail outlets and its $1.9 billion annual advertising budget," Frontline said in its petition.

Frontline also asked for a reserve price of about $1.3 billion for a 10MHz portion of spectrum to be paired with 12MHz set aside for emergency response communications. Frontline said the $4.6 billion reserve is also too high for another 22MHz of spectrum, for which the FCC adopted so-called open access rules.

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