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FCC Chair: 22 MHzOpen Access Stays

October 11, 2007

In U.S. Congressional testimony yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin said he would not comply with a demand from Verizon Wireless that the FCC remove the 22MHz spectrum open access requirements from the forthcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction.

As it stands now, the open access requirement would allow a customer to access the network for a portion of the 700 MhZ block. Verizon is believed to be opposed to open access largely because of the expectation that competitive third-parties- perhaps including Google- would build a 700 MHz network that might rival its own.

Verizon has already initiated legal redress against the open spectrum provision, but lost in the U.S. Court Of Appeals.

Now slated for January, 2008, the auction is being attractively eyed by cell networks for 3G and WiMAX, rural providers for large cellular and non-line-of-sight deployments, as well as mobile tv providers wishing to use elements of the spectrum to launch programming services.

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