Establishing Effective Spectrum Policy – Part III

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

When the Commission’s mobile spectrum holdings proceeding was initiated over a year ago, AT&T argued that the Commission’s basic spectrum aggregation test – as originally conceived – remained a sound approach. The test seeks to strike a balance between regulatory certainty, by assuring licensees that spectrum accumulations within a safe harbor will be approved, and regulatory…

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Facts About Low Band Spectrum Holdings

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

In an op ed last week, CCA again called for auction limits to “prevent the two dominant wireless carriers from blocking competitors’ access to low-frequency spectrum.”  The problem, according to CCA, is that AT&T and Verizon control a significant portfolio of low band spectrum.  CCA also alleges we were “handed” our 850 MHz allocations “free…

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An Interesting Auction Down Under

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Last week, T-Mobile, through its outside counsel, submitted into the incentive auction proceeding information about auction rules recently adopted in New Zealand.  Specifically, in connection with its 700 MHz auction that will offer 90 MHz of paired spectrum in nine 5 x 2 MHz blocks, the New Zealand Ministry for Communications and Information Technology ruled…

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Why T-Mobile’s “Dynamic Market Rule” Won’t Work

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Today, AT&T is filing an analysis by two esteemed economists, Yeon-Koo Che and Philip A. Haile, of T-Mobile’s “Dynamic Market Rule” proposal for the 600 MHz Auction.    The proposal entails a complex bidding scheme that is premised on T-Mobile’s claim that low band spectrum should be subject to its own separate cap, above and beyond…

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Inconvenient Facts and the FCC’s Flawed Spectrum Screen

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Today, the FCC approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint and Sprint’s acquisition of the remainder of Clearwire.  After it takes over Sprint/Clearwire, SoftBank has asserted that it will provide Sprint with an infusion of capital and expertise that will be used to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum – the key asset in play in this transaction…

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Revisiting Lower 700 MHz Interoperability

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

In recent months, there has been a renewed push to drive a regulatory mandate to address the interoperability issues that challenge the lower 700 MHz band.  Perhaps acknowledging that a Band 12 mandate ignores the interference concerns present in the band, the small carriers are now arguing that B and C block licensees should be…

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Bottom line: We Unlock Our Customers’ Devices

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Before I get into the legislative weeds of the DMCA (don’t worry, the acronym will be fully explained below), I want to be completely clear that AT&T’s policy is to unlock our customers’ devices if they’ve met the terms of their service agreements and we have the unlock code. It’s a straightforward policy, and we…

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Opportunity in the 600 MHz Band

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

The FCC’s Incentive Auction proceeding moves forward in earnest today with the filing of opening comments.  The stakes are as high as the issues are complex.  Freeing up more spectrum is critical to U.S. economic growth and technological leadership.  And this auction presents the FCC with the best opportunity it will have for many years…

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Establishing Effective Spectrum Policy, Part II

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

In the midst of a prolonged and deep national recession, the U.S. wireless industry has generated billions of dollars of investment capital, produced millions of jobs, and spawned a breathtaking array of innovative new consumer products and services.  This wireless success story is due in no small measure to the Commission’s longstanding recognition that a…

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Establishing Effective Spectrum Policy

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

In 2001, as mobile data services were being launched, the Commission adopted a forward-looking spectrum policy framework that has facilitated the growth of one of the most successful and competitive marketplaces in the world.  Recognizing that competitive bidding and freely-functioning secondary markets allow spectrum to flow to its best and highest uses, the Commission abandoned…

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