Verizon Wireless Drops Spectrum Auction Opposition
A major hurdle is cleared for the FCC's sale of spectrum based on open network principles favored by Google.Verizon Wireless dropped its legal opposition Oct. 22 to the rules for Januarys highly anticipated 700MHz auction, rules Google has fought to preserve. Verizon, the nations second-largest wireless carrier, called the auction rules "arbitrary, capacious and contrary to law" in a September appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but withdrew its opposition Oct. 22. The filing said only that the change of course was in light of the courts decision Oct. 3 to deny Verizons request for an expedited proceeding.
The decision removes a major obstacle to the Federal Communications Commissions sale of the airwaves being abandoned by broadcasters as part of the digital television transition. The FCCs auction rules for the 22MHz closely mirror the auction suggestions of Google and others. While Google has not formally announced it will bid on the spectrum, it has pledged to the FCC that it will meet the $4.6 billion bid minimum if open-access requirements are attached to the auction.