Carriers Urge FCC To Stick To Original 600MHz Timeline

The FCC's 600 megahertz spectrum auction is finally at its decisive end now, and carriers who bid on and won spectrum are pushing the FCC to stick to their originally proposed schedule for reshuffling spectrum to give them access, a schedule that many spectrum holders and even AT&T panned as being unrealistic. In the original schedule, spectrum holders have just 39 months to jump off of the spectrum they were forced to give up in the auction; this entails removing all traces of their software from certain basebands at all stations at the very least, and in many cases, it means that purpose-built stations have to be dismantled entirely to make way for whatever wireless carriers who won the spectrum may have in mind.

Predictably, the National Association of Broadcasters has made an official filing with the FCC asking for the schedule to be reconsidered. The Competitive Carriers Association, however, put out a direct counter in the form of their own FCC filing, essentially saying that this suggestion has been covered before and is pointless to reconsider this far into the process. T-Mobile showed particular eagerness, filing a verbose 29-pager on exactly why the proposed 39-month timeline actually gives spectrum holders more than enough time to do what they need to do in order to vacate the given spectrum and make it ready for a wireless takeover.

While the list of participants was quite long, there's still no information on who won what spectrum and in what markets; nobody except the FCC and the winning bidders will know that until the "quiet period" ends in about two weeks, barring any leaks from inside the offices of bidders or the FCC. That being the case, it's hard to say right now just what forces are doing the pushing, and who exactly is calling for reconsideration of a more lenient timeline. For now, carriers and spectrum holders are essentially fighting a proxy war through the aforementioned associations, with only T-Mobile coming out to plainly declare where they stand right now. What's not clear is just how much stake T-Mobile has in the aftermath of the auction, another revelation that will be made at the end of the quiet period, along with similar details regarding other bidders.

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