Eshoo: Auction Needs to Be Right 'The First Time'

Pitches Wireless Set-Aside, Rules to Promote Bidding by Companies of All Sizes

WASHINGTON — Ranking House Communications Subcommittee member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that since the top two wireless carriers — AT&T and Verizon Wireless — control 86% of the "beachfront" spectrum below 1 Gigahertz, the Federal Communications Commission should adopt incentive-auction rules that allow carriers of all sizes to bid for the auction's beachfront real estate.

That came in her opening statement for Tuesday's auction oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee.

Eshoo also puts in a plug for ensuring some of that beachfront property has public access by setting aside a nationwide block for unlicensed spectrum, something cable operators also support as they ramp up their Wi-Fi efforts.

Republicans and Democrats are on different pages when it comes to rules on bidders and just how much spectrum should be reserved for unlicensed wireless services.