AT&T Statement on Chairman Genachowski

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

Attribute the following to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:

“Chairman Genachowski brought a renewed focus to the FCC on both wireline and wireless broadband from virtually his first day in office.  He oversaw the drafting and publishing of our nation’s first National Broadband Plan and he identified the spectrum crisis that led to provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that will not only make much needed broadband spectrum available for auction but also will hopefully result in the construction of a nationwide, interoperable network for public safety.  If that weren’t enough, Chairman Genachowski also issued a unanimous order adopting the first comprehensive reform of universal service and intercarrier compensation. Any chairman should be proud of these accomplishments, which are going to leave a lasting imprint on communications policy in the United States.”

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AT&T Statement on Commissioner
McDowell’s Intention to Leave the FCC

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Attribute the following to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:

“During his years at the FCC, Commissioner McDowell has been a true leader focused on promoting the interests of consumers as well as innovation and economic growth.  His impressive knowledge of communications law and regulations has been a major asset to the Commission in so many of the important and complex issues it has tackled.  Moreover, Commissioner McDowell has used that knowledge to challenge his own agency to match the dramatic innovations of technology with a more innovative approach to how the FCC regulates. He was also the first to sound the alarm about international efforts to regulate the Internet, and has been a consistent voice urging similar restraint by the FCC itself.  In short, Commissioner McDowell has made a positive difference during his time in office, which is perhaps the highest praise one can give to any public servant.  It has been a pleasure working with Commissioner McDowell and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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TOPICS: Other Thoughts
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WCIT, IP-IP Interconnection
And the Terminating Monopoly

Posted by: Hank Hultquist on June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

A document recently made public, provides insight into a bugaboo of telecom regulatory policy – the so-called terminating access monopoly.  The theory of the terminating access monopoly is that for all traffic which must terminate to a specific end user device who is served by a single provider, that provider has a monopoly and can insist upon unreasonable termination charges. The theory rose to prominence during the 1990s era debate over CLEC access charges, and has been used to justify net neutrality regulation and, most recently, regulation of IP-IP interconnection.

The most obvious problem with this theory is that one could as plausibly argue that the originating provider has a similar monopoly. What I mean is, for example, that for me to receive a call which I am expecting from my boss, his carrier is the monopoly provider of origination. In effect, the two providers are locked in a bilateral monopoly – one originating, the other terminating. If both providers have a monopoly over their role in the exchange of traffic, why do we have a terminating monopoly theory and not an originating monopoly theory?

In fact, like so many monopolies, the terminating monopoly is not some naturally occurring phenomenon, but rather is a consequence of regulation. On the public switched telephone network (PSTN), regulators created a system known as “calling party network pays,” under which “originating” carriers were required to compensate “terminating” carriers for calls. This requirement was effectuated primarily through the filing of tariffs by the terminating carriers. Originating carriers were required to complete calls (even calls associated with scams like traffic pumping) pursuant to terms lawfully set out in these tariffs.

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The Need for Flexibility
In Broadband Pricing

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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

“FCC Chairman Genachowski made an important statement today in support of usage-based pricing.  This isn’t the first time the chairman has recognized the need for flexibility in broadband pricing, but his words today come at a time when one company has been pushing the FCC to impose a particular pricing model on Internet service providers.  Under that company’s proposal, the costs of providing their service would be borne by all consumers, not just those who choose to use their service.  This would be fundamentally unfair, and that’s why Chairman Genachowski’s pushback is significant.  

“The Chairman seems to recognize that the broadband market is in fact working and benefiting consumers.  Innovation is booming and choices are proliferating.  As consumer tastes and needs evolve at a fast pace, companies are experimenting with new services, and new pricing models, tailored toward their customers.  This is how free and competitive markets should work, especially in the Internet space.  In short, nothing is broken in this market, certainly nothing that government needs to intervene and fix.  That’s why it’s worth commending when a government official recognizes the need for regulatory humility, especially when it comes to the Internet.  Those who want to impose legacy telephone regulations, or the business agenda of their particular company, on a dynamic Internet industry are not serving the interests of consumers or our country.  If little else is clear in our economy today, one thing sure is– that the Internet is working quite well today and has no need for such intrusions.”

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AT&T Statement on Consequences of the Spectrum Crunch

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

The following is in response to comments made today by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at the International CTIA Wireless Show. It can be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs.

“The need for more spectrum is an industry-wide issue and problem.  The merger AT&T proposed last year was all about creating more capacity by combining the spectrum holdings and networks of two companies.  The FCC was within its rights to withhold its approval.  But it is incorrect when it denies the impact such decisions have on the price of wireless services.

“Basic economics, and the law of supply and demand, apply to the wireless industry as to all others.  In the case of wireless, without additional capacity, which would have been created by our transaction, prices rise.  This simple point was made last week by AT&T’s Chairman.

“Last year, when Chairman Genachowski spoke at the CTIA convention he made essentially the same point, saying,

‘If we do nothing in the face of the looming spectrum crunch, many consumers will face higher prices—as the market is forced to respond to supply and demand….’

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TOPICS: FCC, Spectrum
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