Congressmen urge FCC vote on AWS-3

Two congressmen have written a letter to the FCC's two Democratic commissioners urging them to vote on AWS-3 spectrum less than a week after the FCC canceled its Dec. 18 meeting to vote on a possible national wireless broadband initiative.

The congressmen, Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., wrote to FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, urging that they vote with Chairman Kevin Martin on the issue. If they were to do so it would be a vote "in circulation" rather than at an open meeting. 

The free wireless Internet proposal, pushed by Martin, would create a nationwide license in the 2155-2180 MHz band and require the winning bidder to open up 25 percent of its network for free broadband access with a filter to keep pornography off of it. M2Z Networks, an advocate of this plan, had also pushed for these rules.

Telecom heavyweights, most notably T-Mobile USA, argued that broadband service in this spectrum would create interference in the AWS-1 spectrum (which FCC engineers have disputed), and that an auction should not be tailored to any one specific business. M2Z maintains, along with several members of Congress, that any further delay in the vote constitutes a violation of statutory deadlines and a violation of the Communications Act. M2Z cites an October letter from Rep. Hilda Solis, D.-Calif., and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to Martin that says action on AWS-3 technically should have been taken by Sept. 6 because of deadline provisions in the Communications Act.   

M2Z CEO John Muleta said in an interview with FierceWireless that M2Z defers to the members of Congress in their interpretation of the law, but would like to see a decision made on the AWS-3 spectrum.

"Our interest is that this spectrum has been lying fallow for close to 17 years and the commission hasn't made up its mind and I don't think the public interest is served by this kind of delay," he said.

For more:
- see the letter here

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