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.