AT&T Statement on the Renomination of Jessica Rosenworcel as FCC Commissioner

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs:

“Throughout her tenure, Jessica Rosenworcel has been an experienced, respected, and important voice on every major issue the Commission has faced.  Her nomination for another term on the FCC is very welcome news.”

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A New Way Forward
With the FCC’s DE Program

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

The following statement may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“In the wake of the AWS-3 auction, there has been a broad, bipartisan call to reform the FCC’s Designated Entity, or DE, program.  When the veil of the auction was lifted, we all learned that some bidders attempted to use the rules to obtain a windfall, and, in the process, prevented the intended beneficiaries of the program – small business and rural telcos – from obtaining valuable spectrum licenses.

“For this reason, AT&T is pleased to join a group of small carriers today in proposing a new way forward.  Together, we envision a DE program that redefines ‘small business’ in a way that is more aligned with the structure of the modern wireless industry and that seeks to benefit true small entities — many of which operate in rural America.  To avoid incentives for abuse, we propose a strict cap of $10M on the bidding credit available to any individual eligible applicant – an amount that will provide a meaningful benefit to the very types of business the program is designed to benefit while ensuring policymakers that those who seek to abuse the program will not be rewarded.  We also support strict build requirements as we believe scarce spectrum resources should be licensed only to those willing to deploy them for the benefit of U.S. consumers.

“We believe that this proposed framework provides strong footing for a logical, equitable and sustainable Designated Entity program – one that encourages broad participation at auction and diverse opportunity in the industry while closing loopholes attractive to those interested only in speculation or financial arbitrage.  We hope the FCC will give the proposal careful consideration.”

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Old Whine in New Bottles

Posted by: Joan Marsh on April 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

A group of competitive carriers led by Sprint and T-Mobile have formed a new coalition but, based on the group’s opening advocacy salvo, I don’t expect much in the way of any new or insightful arguments.  For example, they have revived the old myth that AT&T and Verizon were awarded half of their low band spectrum “for free” – a claim that has been so thoroughly refuted I’m surprised it’s still treated as news.

But it is.  So, it’s time for some old fashioned fact-checking.

Contrary to claims that much of AT&T’s low-frequency spectrum holdings were given to AT&T in the mid-1980s, the fact is that AT&T acquired nearly 97 percent of its low-frequency spectrum at auction or through secondary market transactions.  AT&T’s ultimate predecessor, Southwestern Bell, was originally assigned Cellular B-block licenses in only a small number of license areas covering portions of only five states.  As of last May, when AT&T filed a detailed ex parte on this issue, those original licenses represented about 3.5 percent of the low-frequency spectrum AT&T held in the top 100 cellular market areas (CMAs – as measured by MHz-POPs), and only about 3.3 percent of AT&T’s total low-frequency spectrum in all CMAs.

AT&T acquired the rest of its 850 MHz licenses through a $41 billion dollar transaction with AT&T Wireless, even larger transactions with Ameritech and BellSouth, and numerous purchases from a number of other companies.  AT&T acquired its Lower 700 MHz spectrum through its $6.6 billion of winning bids in Auction 73 – an auction in which Sprint and T-Mobile were eligible to participate, but did not – as well as billions of dollars of additional spectrum-only acquisitions from a variety of companies that won spectrum in the Commission’s 700 MHz auctions but decided to sell it for a profit as opposed to build it out.  Indeed, many of those companies are small carriers that are now complaining about the lack of low band holdings.  We’ve blogged about that as well.

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AT&T Statement on FCC’s
3.5 GHz Spectrum Sharing Order

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on April 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

The following statement may be attributed to an AT&T spokesperson:

“AT&T applauds the FCC for adopting today’s 3.5 GHz order that will make more spectrum available for mobile broadband use.  The Commission has taken an innovative approach in the band to facilitate spectrum sharing with incumbent government users. We look forward to the Second Further Notice as the Commission continues to explore how CBRS licensees will use this spectrum while sharing it in an opportunistic manner.”

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AT&T Statement on the Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on April 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Today, Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI ) introduced the Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2015 to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Relations:

“We commend Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch and Senator Wyden and Congressman Ryan for their efforts to introduce a bipartisan bill that will update and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). We believe the passing of this legislation will align 21st century trade agreements with 21st century TPA rules.  Taking this critical step forward will strengthen our U.S trade policy to ensure new trade agreements provide us with the opportunity to further U.S. economic growth and investment.  We look forward to working with the Congress and the Administration in order to advance U.S. trade agreements.”

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