The 700 MHz spectrum was purchased by carriers and DTV supplier Qualcomm. At first, carriers opposed the delay of the February 17th launch of DTV. Now, some are supporting a delay set forth in a Senate bill to delay the date until June 12. Verizon and AT&T now support the bill's delay.
"Because of these important developments, Verizon agrees that a one-time delay from Feb. 17 to June 12, as reflected in Senator Rockefeller's draft bill, is appropriate," stated Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Commerce Committees. "Any further delay would harm the nation's economy and broadband future, as I noted in my letter earlier this week."
AT&T also supports the delay as long as it does not last more than three months. AT&T does not plan to roll-out LTE on the 700 mhz spectrum, right away.
Qualcomm however wants to roll-out DTV immediately and filed papers with the FCC.
"Immediately upon the end of the DTV transition on February 17, 2009, Qualcomm will turn on transmitters to launch MediaFLO in many major markets around the country," Qualcomm vice president of government Dean Brenner wrote, "Within a few days of Feb. 17th, Qualcomm will have approximately 100 new transmitters on the air in Channel 55. These new transmitters will allow Qualcomm to launch MediaFLO in approximately 15 major markets across the country and to expand the existing MediaFLO coverage footprint in approximately 25 other markets. These new transmitters will enable Qualcomm to bring the MediaFLO service to over 40 million people who are not served today."