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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Getting the Incentive Auction Right

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Today, the FCC cast a series of votes that set the stage for the incentive auction to move toward its slated March 2016 start.  The results of the votes, however, are a mixed bag and leave significant wireless industry concerns unanswered. On the one hand, the FCC has finally resolved the protracted debate on the…

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AT&T Statement on FCC’s Tech Transitions Order

Please attribute the following to Frank Simone, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory: “In the National Broadband Plan, the Commission clearly recognized the critical need to modernize our country’s communications system, and carriers have invested billions of dollars to make this happen. The ongoing transition from a circuit-switched network to an IP-based platform – over…

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Stop the Magenta Madness: A Word on the Spectrum Reserve

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

We don’t have a slick cartoon full of super heroes and telecom villains.  We aren’t generating a raft of identically-worded robo-letters.  And we aren’t tweeting apocalyptic rants about the demise of wireless choice.  But we do care about the 600 MHz spectrum auction – a lot – and we support the Chairman’s decision to deny…

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T-Mobile Should Stop Complaining and Start Investing in Rural America

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Today, T-Mobile filed a petition to deny a spectrum acquisition by AT&T in three rural cellular market areas (CMAs) in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. The purchase will give AT&T the needed spectrum footprint to deploy up to a 10×10 MHz LTE network in these markets, which will enable AT&T to offer faster and higher…

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A 21st Century Safety Net

Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene a hearing on the future of the FCC’s Lifeline program.  Given the recent GAO report on the program and the FCC report on the broadband Lifeline trial, some folks might argue that Lifeline is irreversibly broken and incapable of accomplishing any credible goals.  While I would agree that…

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Old Whine in New Bottles

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

A group of competitive carriers led by Sprint and T-Mobile have formed a new coalition but, based on the group’s opening advocacy salvo, I don’t expect much in the way of any new or insightful arguments.  For example, they have revived the old myth that AT&T and Verizon were awarded half of their low band…

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AT&T Statement on FCC’s 3.5 GHz Spectrum Sharing Order

The following statement may be attributed to an AT&T spokesperson: “AT&T applauds the FCC for adopting today’s 3.5 GHz order that will make more spectrum available for mobile broadband use.  The Commission has taken an innovative approach in the band to facilitate spectrum sharing with incumbent government users. We look forward to the Second Further…

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The White Space Black Hole

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

In 2008, in the wake of the 700 MHz auction, Google held a conference call to reveal its plans for “Wi-Fi on steroids” – a broadband wireless service to be delivered coast to coast via unlicensed white space devices, all in time for the 2009 Christmas holiday.  I remember reading a blog comment around that…

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