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Wireless Networking

The Dirty Business of Assembling WiMAX Spectrum 101

go_jesse writes in to make us aware of a MarketWatch article reporting on the battles that WiMAX partners Sprint and Clearwire are fighting — sometimes with one another — to put together enough spectrum to fill in their planned WiMAX coverage map. The problem is that decades ago the FCC passed out licenses in what would become the WiMAX band to schools and non-profits nationwide. Once Sprint began knocking on their doors asking to license their spectrum — once they began seeing dollar signs in a forgotten resource — dozens, then hundreds of these organizations applied to the FCC to renew long-dormant licenses. The FCC has granted the first of these requests and Sprint has asked it to reconsider. Confusingly, Sprint's partner Clearwire has sided with the schools and non-profits. The article sheds light in one messy corner of the battle to provide a "third pipe" into US consumers' homes.

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