Wheeler Circulates Competitive Bidding Item

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In a recent blog post, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he has circulated draft, revised competitive bidding rules to his fellow commissioners in preparation for a vote on the item at the July Open Meeting. The proceeding has received significant attention following the AWS-3 auction in which two entities affiliated with Dish Network sought more than $3 billion in bidding credits. The draft order would prohibit joint bidding by separate entities and impose a bidding credit cap of $150 million for small businesses. The proposal also includes a 15% bidding credit for rural providers, which would be capped at $10 million. To qualify for this credit, a carrier must have 250,000 or fewer subscribers and primarily serve rural areas.  Further, the draft would remove the current policy requiring small business bidding credit recipients to provide facilities-based service to qualify for bidding credits.

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