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Verizon Pushing FCC to Reconsider Auction Rules

Article Comments  9  

May 1, 2014, 2:28 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon Communications recently met with Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to convince the agency to abandon its proposed rules for an upcoming auction. The FCC has scheduled a reverse auction for the middle of 2015 that will see television stations voluntarily give up their spectrum, which will then in turn be auctioned off to wireless network operators. The FCC is concerned that AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the country's two largest operators, already have enough low-band spectrum. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed to reserve some of the upcoming airwaves for smaller operators, such as Sprint and T-Mobile, which don't have strong low-band spectrum holdings. Verizon argued "it would be perverse and unjust for the commission to adopt auction rules that subsidize some large multinational companies at the expense of their competitors. T-Mobile and Sprint are large corporations with established, well-financed corporate parents," said Verizon. "They and their parent corporations are more than capable of paying substantial amounts to acquire spectrum in the incentive auction if they choose to do so." AT&T has filed similar complaints with the FCC, which will vote on the proposed rules May 15. AT&T and Verizon own vast sums of 700MHz. The airwaves in question are located in the 600MHz band, and have strong propagation characteristics.

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May 1, 2014, 4:10 PM

This is why

government regulation doesn't work.

>>it would be perverse and unjust for the commission to adopt auction rules that subsidize some large multinational companies at the expense of their competitors.

If in the first place ATT and Verizon hadn't been allowed to grow so large through bad government regulation, the government wouldn't now be looking like a bunch of ass hats as they scamper to find ways to keep T-mobile and Sprint competitive.

But government regulation is nothing more than one piece of hypocrisy laid upon another as they seek to control that which is clearly beyond their control.

The government should bust up the monopolies, deregulate the market, and concentrate on enforcing competition.
It's due to deregulation that these large monopolies grew. We need to break up the large companies and then regulate them so they can't grow any larger.

May 1, 2014, 4:29 PM

Convenient Ignorance

VZW's statements conveniently ignore a key provision of the proposal presented by Chairman Wheeler: The reservation of spectrum for carriers holding less than 30% of the low band spectrum in a given market only kicks in once a reserve price is met. That in itself ensures a price for the spectrum that is set based on all competitors - VZW and AT&T alike setting the price for all available spectrum up to the point of the reserve trigger. The second market control is based on the fact that the spectrum isn't held by the government: It's held by private broadcasters. Regardless of whether there is a reserve or not, a broadcaster in a given market is going to look at the current bid price for market guidance on the value of the spectrum and t...
I understand what you and others are talking about on AT&T and VZW and their size. But both Deutsche Telekom and Softbank can afford to bid at the same levels as the bigger carriers, they choose not to. I just don't agree with giving prefered or sub...
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