A Personal Note

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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 Federal Regulatory Relations

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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