— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on May 15, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
Move over net neutrality - the FCC is voting on another item that could change the communications landscape much more dramatically and quickly.
The vote today will be on a proposal that would reserve a portion of airwaves for small wireless carriers to bid on in a spectrum auction next year.
How is this going to impact consumers?
CNBC'S Morgan Brennan has more.
When the Federal Communications Commission meets Thursday, it'll vote on proposals that will affect wireless carriers. And with them, consumers. The topic: spectrum.
[AMIR ROZWADOWSKI / Analyst, Barclays] "The way to think about this from a bigger picture is spectrum is the life blood for a lot of these wireless carriers. It is the connection point from the consumer to the network."
There are different bands of spectrum and the FCC has a screening process to determine how much and what kind wireless carriers can use. Up for debate is whether to expand those guidelines. But the commission will take up another vote as well: whether to set aside some of the most sought after spectrum, low-band, that's expected to come to auction next year. Such a proposal will limit the amount that industry giants Verizon and AT&T could purchase, reserving it instead for smaller competitors like Sprint and T-mobile that could otherwise be outbid.
[AMIR ROZWADOWSKI / Analyst, Barclays] "If you can free up more pipes, the actual cost for the stuff that goes through the pipes could go down so it is a net benefit to consumers that the FCC frees up this spectrum. The key question is how do they free it up in a manner that is supportive of the competitive environment."
Low-band spectrum can travel further distances through walls and other obstacles and it's used primarily for data plans. As customers increasibly turn to smartphones and tablets for more of their media consumption, especially video streaming, low-band becomes more important.
[WALTER PIECYK / Research Analyst, BTIG] "The more spectrum that operators have, the more innovative services and faster speed that they can offer to consumers."
That's why the details of the FCC's proposal will be especially important. They'll help determine what carriers participate in the 2015 auction and whether the broadcasters that currently own the spectrum think their coveted wireless real-estate is worth selling. For CNBC business news, i'm Morgan Brennan.
Some 200 activists are reportedly expected to stage a protest at the FCC on Thursday.
Critics of the plan.. including America's top two wireless service providers Verizon and AT&T.. say that the government agency does NOT have the right to reserve spectrum parts for any carrier.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Sri Jegarajah, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters
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