FCC Formally Approves Verizon's Cable Spectrum Deal
The Federal Communications Commission today officially and formally granted Verizon Wireless permission to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from a consortium of cable companies, as well as other transactions with T-Mobile USA and Leap Wireless. The deal has already won approval from the Department of Justice and an informal nod from FCC chair Julius Genachowski. Today's action by the FCC is the government-sanctioned greenlight for which Verizon Wireless has been waiting. The FCC did, however, issue some conditions and provisions to which Verizon must adhere. Verizon Wireless must close its proposed spectrum transfer with T-Mobile USA within 45 days of its closing of the SpectrumCo, Cox, and Leap transactions. Verizon will have to provide service to 30% of the areas covered by its new AWS spectrum holdings within three years of completing the transaction, and 70% of the new areas within seven years. Verizon Wireless also has to agree to offer roaming agreements "for commercial mobile data services on any of its spectrum in the areas where it is acquiring AWS-1 spectrum to other commercial mobile data service providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions." Verizon has to offer these roaming terms for five years. Verizon plans to use the spectrum to enhance its LTE 4G network.
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