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Harman Seeks Spectrum-Auction Answers from Martin

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) gave Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin a lot to think about as he plans for the reauctioning of the D block of spectrum that failed to sell the first time around.

The block is to be used for a shared public-private interoperable national network that can be used by first-responders in time of emergency.

In a letter to Martin Tuesday following a House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee hearing on the recent 700-megahertz spectrum auction and how to reauction the D block, Harman offered up a host of suggestions on what questions to answer before the next auction.

They included what information bidders should get beforehand, whether the auction should favor new entrants, how much the network will cost to build out, whether public-safety users should be required to pay for access out of government grant money and a host of others. That host included several related to reauctioning the block without public-safety obligations and whether the 10 MHz already set aside (and to have been paired with the D block as part of the partnership) was enough by itself for a public-safety network.