Frontline Wireless shuts down

Frontline Wireless LLC, a prominent prospective bidder for the upcoming auction to create a national wireless network for first responders, abruptly shut down this week.

"Frontline Wireless is closed for business at this time. We have no further comment," states a message posted on the company's Web site. The statement is dated Jan. 12.

Frontline, based in Greensboro, N.C., was one of the most vocal advocates for establishing a national broadband network for public safety.

In December, Frontline appeared on a list of 266 prospective bidders in the upcoming Federal Communications Commission's Jan. 24 auction. The winning bidder of the D Block of spectrum, which is one of many blocks being auctioned, is slated to negotiate with a public safety organization to establish the new network.

Other companies ? including Google Inc., AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless ? have applied to bid in the auction. However, companies are not required to disclose in which block of spectrum they are interested.

Frontline was one of the most active supporters of the public safety network, an idea it proposed to the FCC last year. There was media speculation today that Frontline's demise means it will no longer participate in the auction. It was not immediately clear what would happen if no one bids on the D Block.

Frontline's management includes former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Telecommunications Policy Janice Obuchowski.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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