This week in the Tech Policy Weekly podcast, Adam Thierer, James Gattuso, Jerry Brito, Tim Lee and I discuss FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s reported plan to encumber a portion of the 700 MHz band with open access rules sought by Frontline Wireless LLP, Google and others.
We react to a statement issued by a top executive at AT&T claiming that the draft FCC order — which none of us have seen — would “simply take one block of the upper 700 band being auctioned to allow an experiment with an alternative open-devices/open applications business model of the type proposed by Google and others,” and that “the proposal does not mandate a wholesale business model in any particular block, nor does it mandate net neutrality style regulations on the other commercial spectrum being auctioned.”
Also, the AT&T statement claims there would be a reserve requirement to ensure that no one would be able to obtain any block of spectrum without paying an “appropriate price to the US Treasury.” If bids for this particular block do not meet the reserve requirements, or if no qualified bidder comes forward, the block would be withdrawn and re-auctioned without the open device/open applications requirements.