COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services H Block--Implementing Section 6401 of the
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 19151920 and 1995
2000 MHz Bands
, WT Docket No. 12-375.
A lot has changed since the Commission last auctioned off new spectrum for mobile broadband.
Back in 2008, the first Twilight
movie was just hitting theaters. Today, thankfully, we're done with them
all. Back then, LeBron James was a hero in Cleveland. Now, not so much. And five years ago, the word
"tablet" conjured images of vitamins and the Ten Commandments. Now, we think of the iPad and the
Samsung Galaxy Tab.
It is that last change, inspired primarily by consumers' insatiable demand for mobile data, that has
intensified the need to push additional spectrum into the commercial marketplace. That means we're long
past due for another auction.
And with this order, we are on track to have one in the very near future: an auction of the 10 MHz
H Block. This was no easy task. This long-fallow spectrum has been burdened by unresolved
reimbursement issues and a seemingly intractable interference risk to nearby licensees. But last year, in
the Spectrum Act, Congress identified the two 5 MHz bands comprising the H Block as invaluable for
mobile broadband.1 By breaking the logjam, Congress enabled the Commission to re-double its efforts.
Working together with experts in the private sector, our dedicated staff was able to determine that
changed circumstances and new technology had opened up a workable path forward.
Today, we take several steps to ensure that the auction to come will yield maximum revenue and
that the H Block spectrum is put to its highest-valued use. Most importantly, I am pleased that we do not
saddle this spectrum with burdensome and unnecessary conditions. Instead, we outline straightforward
and flexible rules for H Block licensees. I am confident that this common-sense approach will make for a
successful auction of this paired spectrum in the coming months. And I believe that this approach should
serve as a model for future auctions.
I would like to thank Ruth Milkman, John Leibovitz, Jeremy Marcus, Blaise Scinto, Kevin
Holmes, Janet Young, Michael Ha, Tom Peters, Brian Regan, Matthew Pearl and Renee Gregory for their
hard work on this order. I stand ready to do anything I can to help make our goal of holding the auction
in late 2013 or early 2014 a reality. The sooner we do so, the better, both for interested bidders and the
consumers who increasingly expect mobile broadband wherever they go.
1 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156, 22223, 6401(b).