Good News About the US Internet Users

FCC announced (PDF) this good news (portions quoted below):

Today’s Order establishes a framework for a 700 MHz Public Safety/Private Partnership between the licensee for one of the commercial spectrum blocks and the licensee for the public safety broadband spectrum. As part of the Partnership, the commercial licensee will build out a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for the use of public safety. This network will facilitate effective communications among first responders not just in emergencies, but as part of cooperative communications plans that will enable first responders from different disciplines, such as police and fire departments, and jurisdictions to work together in emergency preparedness and response. Under the Partnership, the Public Safety Broadband Licensee will have priority access to the commercial spectrum in times of emergency, and the commercial licensee will have preemptible, secondary access to the public safety broadband spectrum. Many national and local public safety organizations have expressed support for a public safety/private partnership approach. Providing for shared infrastructure will help achieve significant cost efficiencies while maximizing public safety’s access to interoperable broadband spectrum.
In order to promote broadband competition and the development of innovative wireless services for consumers, today’s Order also makes several changes to the rules governing the commercial services portion of the 700 MHz Band. Most notably, the FCC determined that licensees for one of the spectrum blocks to be auctioned – the large, 22-megahertz Upper 700 MHz C Block – will be required to provide a platform that is more open to devices and applications. These licensees will be required to allow customers, device manufacturers, third-party application developers, and others to use any device or application of their choice on their networks in this band, subject to certain conditions. The FCC also adopted several changes to the 700 MHz band plan, the build-out requirements for licensees, and the auction procedures, as described below (read more at the FCC site).

New York Times calls this “a partial victory for Google”. I call it a good day for the Internet users in the USA. Hopefully other countries will follow.

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