The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Schatz reports the Obama administration is gearing up for a major push to allocate D-block spectrum for a nationwide public safety network:
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission proposed auctioning off a valuable block of airwaves to wireless carriers and using the proceeds to help fund this new public-safety network. The White House projected that the government would raise about $3 billion from the auction.
At the time, agency officials said it would be more cost effective to auction off the airwaves and require commercial wireless providers to provide priority access to public-safety agencies.
But the FCC didn’t go forward with this auction and the White House Thursday formally rejected the FCC’s plan, saying that giving the airwaves to public-safety groups was a better option. Administration officials are expected to lay out details of their new national wireless plan in the coming fiscal 2012 budget request.