FCC Plans April 25 Vote on Rules for Airwaves Auction

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to vote April 25 on rules governing its auction of airwaves that will be freed when TV broadcasters convert to digital signals.

Wireless carriers and other potential bidders have until April 23 to offer their views on what the rules should be, the FCC said late today in an e-mailed statement.

The airwaves are coveted by companies including AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless, which want to offer more high-speed Internet content such as video on mobile devices. A law enacted last year requires the FCC to sell the 60 megahertz of spectrum by next January.

The rules will include ``very strict'' obligations for carriers that buy the airwaves, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday. Those requirements will ensure that winning bidders use their spectrum for wireless service instead of hoarding it to block competitors from using it, Martin said during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Peterson in Washington at mpeterson9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cesca Antonelli at fantonelli@bloomberg.net.

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