In remarks published this week by USA Today, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin provided a glimpse of draft auction and licensing rules for the 700 MHz band that have begun to circulate at the agency, disclosing that “whoever wins this spectrum has to provide [a] truly open broadband network” on which consumers can use “any wireless device and download any broadband application, with no restrictions.” Martin and his colleagues are expected to review the draft rules over the next few weeks, potentially paving the way for the adoption of a Report and Order at the agency’s next open meeting. Once enacted, the rules would govern an auction of wireless broadband licenses in the 700 MHz band— anticipated for late this year—that could rank as one of the largest spectrum sales in FCC history. Although specifics on the draft document remain sketchy, an FCC official confirmed that, under the plan, “the winning bidder . . . for one large piece of spectrum must build a network that allows customers to attach any device or run any application they choose so long as it doesn’t interfere with network management.” That requirement would apply to the 22 MHz “C” block that, in turn, would be licensed on a large economic area grouping basis. A coalition, led by Internet giant Google, Inc. and including Yahoo, Intel, DirecTV, and EchoStar has urged the FCC to implement a nationwide license with open access requirements in the 700 MHz band on which services could be offered on a wholesale basis. While the draft order allows a wholesale model but does not require it, the proposed open access requirement is viewed as a major victory for Google and as vindication for Skype Communications, which called on the FCC earlier this year to extend to the wireless industry rules that permit wireline telephone customers to attach the equipment of their choice to landline networks. The draft order would also set aside 10 MHz in Block D for a shared nationwide publicprivate broadband network as proposed by Frontline Wireless. That block, however, would not carry the open access and wholesale requirements sought by Frontline. Commenting on the draft open access rule, Martin observed that current industry practices that “lock” wireless devices to specific carriers have hampered innovations, such as Wi-Fi-capable mobile phones, that have been available internationally but “are just beginning to roll out here.”