Sunday, May 10, 2009

Should the FCC Scrap the D-Block Auction Process?

A major carrier is asking the FCC and Congress not to re-auction the 700 MHz D-Block and instead directly allocate it to public safety agencies.

Steve Zipperstein (pictured) of Verizon Wireless spoke in Washington DC on allocating the D-Block to First Responders to deploy an interoperable network. Mr. Zipperstein, Vice President for Legal and External Affairs and Verizon’s General Counsel, called on the FCC to avoid requiring deployment of a specific technology, but instead to create “a national technical framework” that would create an interoperable network based on an open IP backbone.

Giving the spectrum directly to public safety agencies free of charge would be appealing to these agencies, and it also eliminates the prospect of a commercial carrier obtaining spectrum and creating a potential nationwide competitor to Verizon (and AT&T).

This somewhat self-serving interest notwithstanding, the plan would ultimately hand 700 MHz to First Responders - which isn’t a bad idea in itself.

To read more on Verizon's request, click here.

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