From PC World: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission conditionally approved a multibillion swap of wireless spectrum between Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and four of the biggest cable TV system operators in the U.S.
But for the deal to go ahead, the FCC is demanding Verizon meet goals for rolling out services using the new spectrum and offer data roaming to competitors at fair prices.
The deal is important because radio frequency spectrum is a finite resource, so it is valuable and vitally important for Verizon and T-Mobile. The amount of spectrum each holds directly affects the speed, reach and strength of wireless service that can be offered to consumers.
The companies reached a deal in December last year that will see Verizon buy unused spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. The cable companies had bought the spectrum in earlier government auctions but never ended up using it.
Verizon plans to use some of the spectrum itself, sell some to T-Mobile under a June 2012 agreement and auction the rest. A second part of the deal involved Verizon and the cable companies reselling each other's services.
The U.S. Department of Justice gave conditional approval on Aug. 16 as long as some parts of the latter commercial deal were changed.
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