FCC Approves Various AT&T Spectrum Acquisitions
The Federal Communications Commission today approved a slew of spectrum acquisitions proposed by AT&T over the course of the last few months. The FCC reviewed the proposals en masse, rather than individually. Now that it has the FCC's permission, AT&T stands to gain licenses covering 608 cellular market areas in the Wireless Cellular Service and Advanced Wireless Service spectrum bands. Together, these spectrum blocks cover 82% of the U.S. population in the lower 48 states. After its review, the FCC concluded that the spectrum purchases would not be harmful to consumers on a local or national level, nor decrease competition in the industry. It believes, as AT&T argued, that the acquisitions would put to use spectrum that is being underutilized. AT&T plans to use the AWS and WCS spectrum to supplement its LTE 4G network around the country. AT&T is purchasing the spectrum in parcels from Comcast, Horizon, NextWave, and the San Diego Gas & Electric Company. The purchase prices and closing dates for the individual acquisitions vary and have not been specified.