The following statement may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs:
“The CEO of Sprint said the Department of Justice should block AT&T from merging with T-Mobile, but would have good reasons to instead allow Sprint to purchase them. For months Sprint has spoken disingenuously about their motives for opposing AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile. Now, Mr. Hesse’s public musings have made their motives much more clear. That they would act in their own economic interest is not surprising. That they would expect the United States Government to be a willing partner certainly is.”
Yesterday, AT&T’s Jim Cicconi talked about federal spectrum policies while on a panel at the Brookings Institution here in Washington, D.C. Although there was a question or two (ok, maybe a few more) about our recent announcement, panelists spent a good amount of time discussing the need for incentive auctions.
If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you know that we’ve been talking for a while now about the critical need for sensible spectrum reform, and how broadcasters should become a part of the solution.
In case you weren’t able to attend yesterday’s event, below is a clip of Jim on why it doesn’t make economic sense to allow broadcasters to continue to sit on such valuable spectrum (which they got for free, btw). He also asks, if broadcasters really need all this spectrum for over-the-air broadcasting, why do they also need must carry – government rules that require competing video providers to carry broadcasters’ signals?
Oh, and be sure to stick around after listening to Jim. Blair Levin has some interesting remarks on this subject as well…
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology today held a hearing on H.J. Res 37, disapproving of the FCC’s net neutrality order, which the Commission adopted in December. Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs, delivered the following statement:
Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo, Chairman Upton, Chairman Waxman, Chairman Barton, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on behalf of my company, AT&T. I recognize it is unusual to be asked to testify on a resolution on which we’ve not taken a position. However, as I’m sure all of you know, we have been involved for years in the issue that underlies H.J. Res. 37, and that is the protracted dispute over net neutrality regulation by the FCC.
Let me first stress that AT&T has long supported the “broadband principles” laid out by the FCC six years ago. We support an open Internet, and have promised to abide by that concept. But like many issues that start from a shared belief, this one quickly devolved into a long and contentious debate over specifics: whether the FCC should be able to enforce the broadband principles; whether a broad set of rules was needed; what legal authority the FCC has to put any such rules in place. And all of this despite any real evidence of a problem.
As in most regulatory debates, this one has not lacked for radical voices. Many sought heavy-handed government regulation and control of free markets… some for commercial advantage, others to advance their own ideology. Since this debate began back in 2005, AT&T has consistently opposed any FCC regulation of Internet services or facilities. This is still our strong preference today. We feel the antitrust laws, the Federal Trade Act, and the discipline of highly competitive markets are more than adequate to police any potential abuses.
In case you weren’t able to attend last Friday’s Free State Foundation event, you missed AT&T’s Jim Cicconi talk about what the FCC needs to focus on now that we’ve moved on (right?!) from the “exhaustive and exhausting” net neutrality debate that took up the majority of the Commission’s time and energy for the past two years.
In the video clip below, Jim talks about the critical need to tackle universal service and intercarrier compensation reform if we’re serious about achieving 100% broadband in America. These systems, which were designed to be the underlying support for our country’s communication networks, are extremely complicated and, most importantly, undeniably broken. But, if we all believe that broadband will be the economic driver that takes us through the 21st century and beyond, then we have to reform the antiquated policies that stand in the way.
And, if we can agree that the universal service system should be devoted to broadband, then it’s imperative that we fund the most efficient technology to do this. So, if we are truly committed to supporting broadband, then we must be willing to say goodbye to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
For those six tech policy folks who were not able to trek to the Consumer Electronics Show in the desert last week, we have compiled some video clips for you. And, no, we did not include any footage of our activity at the tables! These are some highlights from the net neutrality panel last Thursday.
We’ll start with what everyone wants to know… moderator Cecilia Kang of The Washington Post asking Verizon’s Tom Tauke whether it will appeal the FCC’s Order. The clip also includes Tauke musing on the openness rules applied to its 700 MHz spectrum.