Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will publish comment deadlines for its recently-released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that begins the process of reviewing its policies regarding the allocation of mobile spectrum. The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available here. While the simultaneous adoption of proposed rules for an incentive auction of broadcast television spectrum arguably has attracted greater attention, this review of broader spectrum policy will have an important bearing on all future spectrum auctions and wireless transactions.
The FCC last reviewed its mobile spectrum holdings policies more than a decade ago, before the recent explosion of smartphones and tablets and the bandwidth-intensive services used on those devices by millions of Americans. By assessing its rules now, the FCC hopes to provide clear and predictable “rules of the road” for this and other future auctions. Comments are due November 23, 2012, and reply comments are due December 24, 2012.