FCC rubber-stamps use of select AT&T LTE bands by smaller US carriers

Last month, AT&T agreed to let smaller US carriers use its 700MHz LTE spectrum, and now the Federal Communications Commission has rubber stamped the company's interoperability plan. With the approval in place, the way is paved for punier providers -- often in rural areas -- to support 4G devices built for Big Blue's network, and potentially leverage roaming over the particular waves. However, there's no word on how quickly other outfits will be able to take advantage of the fresh frequencies, even with the agency's blessing. Regardless, Uncle Sam is pretty optimistic about the deal, as the FCC says it will "improve wireless availability and competition, spur investment in and build out of the networks in the Lower 700MHz band, and result in significant savings to the consumer." Sure, congress still hasn't confirmed Tom Wheeler as the commission's head honcho, but acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn seems to be warming his chair quite nicely.