Writing to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last Friday, Republican members of the House Communications & Technology subcommittee urged the FCC to abandon plans to implement incentive auction rules that would reserve up to 30 MHz of wireless spectrum in each market for bidders that hold less than one-third of licensed channels below 1 GHz. At its next scheduled open meeting on May 15, the FCC is expected to vote on rules that would govern the auction of 600 MHz spectrum assets to be surrendered voluntarily by broadcasters in the first step of the incentive auction process. A draft order circulated last month by Wheeler includes a proposed bidding threshold—based on overall bids, price per MHz, or a combination of both—at which 30 MHz of spectrum per market would be reserved for small wireless carriers and other bidders that hold less than one- third of the low-band spectrum assets in such markets. Voicing “significant concern,” AT&T informed the FCC last month that it may have to reconsider its participation in the incentive auction as the proposal would restrict the company from bidding in markets that cover 70% of the U.S. population. Emphasizing that, “artificial set-asides, restrictions on bidder eligibility, and contortions in auction design alter the playing field and distort the outcome,” the subcommittee members advised Wheeler that “the Commission is not better able than the market to dictate the worth of spectrum and attempts to do so jeopardize the success of the auction.” The lawmakers further reminded Wheeler that “one goal of the incentive auction legislation was to bring market forces . . . to bear on the question of how best to allocate spectrum resources,” adding that “a pure market-based approach would allow all qualified bidders to freely bid on spectrum licenses, thereby determining whether broadcasting or commercial wireless is the highest economic use of the spectrum.”