AT&T Statement on FCC Stopping
‘Shot Clock’ on ATN Transaction

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on August 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

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

“AT&T is extremely disappointed at the FCC delay today on this small transaction.  AT&T is ready, willing and able to make significant network investments in these rural territories to bring HSPA+ and LTE services to Allied’s customers, an investment that will not occur but for this transaction.  AT&T has actively worked to address FCC concerns and will continue to work with the Commission until all issues are resolved.”

Comments (2)

As a long-time AT&T customer in southern Illinois, I am outraged at the FCC’s decision to stop the clock on AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Allied Wireless (Alltel). Is it just me, or has there been an inordinate amount of time-wasting back-and-forth red tape associated with this transaction? I am in absolute disgust at the myriad of documentation requested by the FCC of both AT&T and Allied to gain regulatory approval for this transaction.

What infuriates me so much as an AT&T customer is the obvious “monopoly” of Verizon Wireless in the southern Illinois market that has been allowed to persist for many years. On more than one occasion, AT&T has attempted to gain spectrum that would have allowed it to build out its southern Illinois network–only to be denied each time. These include its denied acquisition of remaining Alltel assets Verizon was forced to divest a few years ago, in addition last year’s failed merger with T-Mobile that was doomed from the start.

I’m not sure what in the world is missing from the ridiculous myriad of documentation requested from both AT&T and Allied to cause the FCC to stop the transaction clock on this merger. If transitioning prepaid customers to AT&T is really the only hold-up, this is easily resolved. AT&T should guarantee Alltel prepaid customers an equivalent network-compatible phone at no cost and allow them to either remain on their current prepaid plan or switch to a new GoPhone plan.

Ryan Presley August 29, 2013 at 12:25 am

(continued)

AT&T has already provided an overwhelming amount of evidence that this transaction is the right thing to do. As it stands now, it doesn’t take an insider genius to figure out that Alltel is struggling in its current state. Alltel was once staunch competition to Verizon in southern Illinois. However, many former Alltel customers have since jumped ship for national coverage, a faster more reliable network, and a much better selection of wireless devices. I firmly believe that AT&T is quite ready to put the additional tower and spectrum licenses from Alltel to good use in building out its 4G LTE network across southern Illinois. The only reason it hasn’t already done so is thanks to prior regulatory decisions that denied AT&T the opportunity. It is a consequence of these regulatory decisions that Verizon remains the monopoly that it is here.

Washington regulators may think their policies and practices promote fair competition, but here that is far from the truth. It is time to cut the crap and give the residents of southern Illinois a real choice in wireless providers. Regulators should approve AT&T’s merger with Alltel to allow the build-out of a high-speed wireless broadband network we can all benefit from–not only in southern Illinois but in every community this proposed transaction impacts.

Ryan Presley August 29, 2013 at 12:26 am

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