A Personal Note

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

This week, I am privileged to take over leadership of AT&T’s Federal Regulatory team in AT&T’s DC office. I take the reins from my mentor, boss and friend, Bob Quinn, as he rises to succeed Jim Cicconi, who leaves us for the next chapter of his life and a richly-deserved retirement. This opportunity comes to…

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Broadband Investment: Not for the Faint of Heart

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

July 2007: In exchange for FCC action on its demand for four specific “open access” conditions on the 700 MHz Upper C Block, Google commits to bidding $4.6B in the 700 MHz auction. January 2008: When the auction closes, it becomes clear that wireless companies – not Google – shouldered the multi-billion dollar cost of…

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Facts not Fiat

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Today, AT&T filed its response to a July 27 Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) issued by the FCC for alleged violations of the lowest corresponding price (LCP) requirements of the E-rate program.  These rules say that in order to participate in the E-rate program, a carrier must charge a participating school, library or consortium no…

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A Return to Permission-Less Innovation

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

The latest chapter of the Wi-Fi vs. LTE-U saga unfolded this month as the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) announced that, after many months, it was finally closing in on an approved LTE-U coexistence test plan but surprised everyone by suggesting that the test plan should also include LTE-LAA. To understand why this is so aggravating, we…

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Reaching a Sound 3.5 GHz Framework

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

We’ve been watching with interest as a Further Order on the 3.5 GHz band plan is being considered by the FCC’s 8th floor. The Order proposes to preserve a Priority Access License, or PALs, scheme that has been broadly rejected by almost everyone who had advocated for the PALs approach. Given this opposition, it’s hard…

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A Note from Base Camp

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Last week while speaking at a spectrum conference, Gary Epstein, Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force observed that progress on the incentive auction can be compared to climbing a mountain. With the rules complete and as we move toward the auction start date, the collective group of auction climbers are essentially now at…

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Another Magenta Herring

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

A few weeks ago, T-Mobile filed an ex parte suggesting that AT&T had contradicted statements made to the FCC in connection with the acquisition of certain 700 MHz licenses in a few rural markets in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.  As we explain in a filing today, T-Mobile’s claims are flatly incorrect. AT&T is continuing…

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The Wi-Fi / LTE Unlicensed Debate: A Path Forward

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Much ink has been spilled to date on the question of whether and how, and under what conditions, Wi-Fi and LTE unlicensed technologies can peacefully co-exist in existing and new unlicensed bands.  I don’t propose to add to that growing body of literature.  I write instead to endorse a path forward: One that side-steps the…

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When is a Defaulter Not Really a Defaulter? And Other Auction 97 Questions

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Last week, the latest chapter of the saga that is Auction 97 unfolded in all its messy, unpredicted and unpredictable glory – Dish and its affiliate DEs surrendered over $3 billion of AWS-3 licenses back to the FCC.  Before we get to the selective default, let’s quickly review the bidding to date. First, Dish took…

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The FCC’s Enhanced Transaction Review Standard

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Over a year ago, AT&T filed an application seeking to acquire two Lower 700 MHz B Block licenses from Club 42 CM Limited Partnership. AT&T’s ownership of 700 MHz B Block licenses is wholly uncontroversial – we purchased many in the 700 MHz auction and have been enhancing our B block footprint through small deals…

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