The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with its plan to repackage the nation's vacant television broadcast spectrum as a wireless broadband space.
The FCCommission of Friday approved a plan to repackage space in the 500MHz band which had been previously designated for UHF television broadcasts as wireless broadband spectrum to be auctioned off to carriers.
The plan calls for an "incentivised" auction in which firms are encouraged to bid on spectrum space with a plan in which bidders are repaid a portion of the proceeds of the sale. The commission hopes that the format will increase interest in the space.
Under the plan, the FCC will also seek to open up "white space" spectrum portions between existing television and wireless device broadcast channels which can be used for additional wireless broadband space.
Additionally, the commission said that it will seek to reserve a portion of the spectrum as a designated channel for the operation of unlicensed devices. The controversial plan has been a key point in the FCC's wireless broad strategy for the last several years.
The move is the latest step in the US government's plan to expand the nation's wireless broadband resources. With LTE services growing in popularity, spectrum space has become a valuable commodity amongst wireless carriers and service providers.
Earlier this year, Verizon paid out $3.6bn to buy spectrum aimed at expanding its wireless broadband capacity.
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