AT&T Statement Regarding Commissioner Rosenworcel Remarks at APCO

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on August 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm

The following may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President —Federal Regulatory:

“AT&T is fully supportive of finding a solution that enables 911 Emergency Responders to locate callers using cellular phones indoors.  Indoor location accuracy has been an issue that has perplexed the industry and the public safety community for years.  We believe we are making progress towards an innovative solution that will radically improve location accuracy for consumers across the United States and will fully comport with the principles enunciated by Commissioner Rosenworcel earlier today. APCO and NENA have led the effort, working with industry, to provide consumers with the most reliable 911 infrastructure in the world.  We look forward to continue working with both APCO and NENA to finally solve location accuracy for wireless 911.”

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TOPICS: FCC, Public Safety
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AT&T Statement on FCC’s AWS-3 Auction Procedures Public Notice

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on July 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm

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

“As a follow-on to the AWS-3 Coordination Public Notice released last week, the FCC today released a Public Notice outlining final AWS-3 auction procedures.  With these releases, the FCC has set the stage for this important and long-awaited auction.  We appreciate the hard work that has been necessary to bring this auction forward, including by the staff of the FCC and the NTIA, and by the DoD’s Chief Information Officer, and we are confident that those efforts will yield a successful outcome.  We look forward to reviewing the public notices in detail, as well as the DoD workbook that will hopefully be released later this month that will provide key technical information about DoD operations that are essential to assessing auction valuations.”


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Banning Paid Prioritization within a Viable and Sustainable Framework

Posted by: Bob Quinn on July 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Today, we filed comments at the FCC supporting the Commission’s attempt to re-craft the net neutrality rules that were vacated by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Verizon v. FCC.  In short, we have laid out a viable and sustainable framework utilizing Section 706 of the 1996 Telecom Act, which re-establishes the balance achieved by the 2010 Open Internet Order, including banning paid prioritization – where an ISP prioritizes packets over the consumer’s last mile broadband Internet access service without being directed to perform that prioritization by the consumer.  Paid prioritization has been at the heart of the net neutrality debate since it began in earnest over a decade ago (AT&T has blogged several times on this point in earlier iterations of this debate).  We disagree with those critics who claim that the Commission cannot ban paid prioritization under Section 706 and explain why they are wrong as well as why it would be much more difficult to justify a similar ban of paid prioritization under Title II.

AT&T also supported the FCC’s 2010 rules, including the ones which were ultimately vacated by the Verizon court.  We recognized then, and now, that those rules represented a purposeful and careful balance between ensuring the openness of the Internet and promoting the continued massive infrastructure investments necessary to deliver to American consumers the ever increasing amount of bandwidth needed by the enormously innovative products and services being created in technology communities across the United States.  The FCC reached this balance by utilizing a form of light touch regulation under Section 706 rather than decades-old Title II utility regulation requirements – requirements that would actually impose barriers to broadband infrastructure investment in contravention of Section 706.

History itself tells us that the FCC’s balanced, light touch approach was the right approach because it actually worked.  As the FCC has noted, from 2009 onwards, wireline and wireless broadband providers have invested more than $250 billion in broadband infrastructure.  On the other side of the equation, the Internet has remained open and consumers have accessed a dizzying array of new content, services and applications.  That is the environment that every public policymaker should want to preserve.

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AT&T Statement on House Passage of Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on July 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Relations:

“AT&T commends the House of Representatives for its passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, legislation that will continue to prohibit states from taxing access to the Internet.  With the vote today, the House declared that all Americans will have access to the Internet unencumbered by unwarranted taxes.

“We applaud Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) for their efforts to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and we encourage the Senate to quickly pass legislation.”

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The Roaming Marketplace is Working

Posted by: Joan Marsh on July 11, 2014 at 9:21 am

T-Mobile, which advertises itself as the “un-carrier,” has asked the FCC to “un-do” its data roaming rules, which were established in 2011 to facilitate reasonable data roaming arrangements while continuing to incent network investments.  T-Mobile now asks for a “declaratory ruling” which would effectively eviscerate that FCC decision and run afoul of the D.C. Circuit case which upheld it.

The Commission carefully crafted its data roaming rules to balance two important goals:  ensuring that mobile wireless providers can obtain data roaming arrangements on reasonable terms while preserving incentives to invest in broadband networks.  T-Mobile’s proposals would undo that careful balance, resulting in prescriptive rate “benchmarks” and other policies designed to allow T-Mobile to continue to rely on data roaming in lieu of investing in and extending its own broadband networks.

There is no justification for granting T-Mobile’s petition –  in fact, according to T-Mobile’s own economist, wholesale roaming rates have trended “downward strongly” in recent years, and the average wholesale roaming rates paid by T-Mobile have fallen nearly 70 percent since 2011 and continue to decline.  There is also evidence that commercial negotiations are producing a variety of terms to meet differing needs, including the highly-touted LTE roaming hub T-Mobile’s own trade association (CCA) has established with scores of rural carriers to “help Sprint and T-Mobile fill the holes in their network[s].”  Sprint currently relies on the Hub to extend its roaming coverage by 34 million people in 23 states.

Notably, T-Mobile has not cited a single instance where a provider anywhere in the country has found it necessary to file a formal complaint with the Commission alleging an inability to obtain commercially reasonable terms.  Indeed, when taken as a whole, T-Mobile’s petition evinces a well-functioning market for wholesale data roaming services with which the Commission should be loathe to interfere.

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