U.S. FCC chair wants no further restrictions for AT&T, Verizon in 2016 auction

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 25, 2015 1:56 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants the agency to reject a T-Mobile US Inc request that more airwaves be set aside for smaller wireless companies like itself to bid on during a government auction next year.

Reuters last month reported the regulators were leaning toward such a decision amid vigorous lobbying by T-Mobile, the No. 4 cellular operator, which wants further restrictions on how much spectrum dominant carriers Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc can buy in the auction.

"While some parties have petitioned the commission to increase the size of the reserve, the draft order on reconsideration I am circulating today would maintain the reserve size at the current level," Wheeler said in a blog post.

"The draft order concludes that the current reserve size of 30 megahertz balances the desire to make low-band spectrum available to parties with limited holdings while facilitating competitive bidding for all auction participants."

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Bill Trott)