AT&T Applauds President Trump’s Decision to Name Ajit Pai as New FCC Chairman

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs:

“Today, on his first official day in office, President Trump designated Ajit Pai as the new FCC Chairman. No one is more prepared to reframe the agency to address the needs of this rapidly changing marketplace. Chairman Pai will work with his fellow Commissioners to quickly and decisively put back in place the commonsense regulatory framework necessary to support the President’s agenda for job creation, innovation and investment.

“Congratulations to Chairman Pai.  We look forward to working with him and his team and the FCC to support President Trump’s growth agenda.”

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AT&T Statement on FCC’s
Special Access/BDS Proposal

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on October 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm

The following may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs:

“This proposal is little more than a wealth transfer to companies that have chosen not to invest in last mile fiber infrastructure. It will result in less fiber investment and contribute to mounting job losses at a time when our country needs just the opposite.

“Like its privacy and set-top box counterparts (which may or may not also be voted upon in three weeks), the special access proceeding seems designed to pick winners and losers rather than being an even-handed analysis based on facts and sound economics.

“While the Commission has correctly determined (for the time being) not to re-regulate the Ethernet market, there is no evidence in the record to support the Commission’s proposal to re-regulate all legacy TDM-based service without regard to the number of competitors operating in a markets. To reach such a preposterous conclusion, the Commission had to ignore facts and virtually all of the economic analysis submitted by its own ‘independent’ economist as well as all of the other economists who provided analysis in this proceeding.”

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Broadband Investment:
Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted by: Joan Marsh on August 30, 2016 at 11:01 am

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 the auction. As soon as the reserve was hit for the Upper C Block, Google took its billions and went back to Mountain View. Those same wireless companies spent billions more deploying those licenses to build the most advanced LTE networks in the world and give the U.S. leadership on LTE technologies.

April 2008: Google touts a new proposal for “Wi-Fi on Steroids.” Using newly-authorized 600 MHz white spaces, Google announces plans to have American consumers from Manhattan to North Dakota surfing the Web at gigabits-per-second speeds on new devices that will be available by the 2009 Holiday Season.

Today: There are less than 1,000 white space devices in the white space database and no real measure of broadband white space service. Google’s plans to blanket the country with broadband white spaces devices appear to be on hold.

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Verizon Yesterday versus Today:
New Wires, Old Rules?

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on June 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

By Caroline Van Wie, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

As comments in the special access proceeding (oops, I mean Business Data Services proceeding) roll in, I thought I would put together a few sentences which accurately capture AT&T’s views on this proceeding:

“[T]here is no basis on which to increase regulation of ILEC business broadband services, including legacy special access and Ethernet.  [T]here is no evidence supporting a finding that ILEC rates for traditional TDM-based special access services (e.g., DS1 and DS3) are unjust and unreasonable.  There is no factual basis to support a finding of market power or market failure in the business broadband marketplace.  According to the Commission’s data, competitors have deployed networks capable of providing high-capacity services in all metropolitan areas throughout the country that contain concentrated demand for these services. Although the Commission’s data understate the extent of actual and potential competition, even with these shortcomings these data show competitors have deployed networks capable of providing high-capacity services in all metropolitan areas throughout the country that contain concentrated demand for these services. Despite these problems [with the 2013 data], the record confirms competitors have deployed facilities in large and small areas throughout the country — not only in downtown areas, but in all types of locations where there is concentrated demand for high-capacity services. The record also shows a wide range of providers and significant new entry, including from cable operators, and that different types of competitors are succeeding in this marketplace, using a wide array of high capacity services. Even  based on the outdated and incomplete record here, the evidence of competition where there is concentrated demand includes steadily declining retail prices; mass migration from legacy technologies (TDM) to new ones (Ethernet and broadband IP) that offer greater quality and value; disruptive facilities-based entry by cable companies; growing use of alternative technologies such as best-efforts broadband and fixed wireless; the continued growth of traditional CLECs; and the indisputable competitiveness of downstream markets, such as wireless, in which providers use business broadband services as an input.”

“[T]he record demonstrates the Commission’s analysis should include all forms of high-capacity services that customers are using to meet their needs, which includes not just legacy TDM-based special access services but also Ethernet services and best-efforts broadband services offered by cable.  For many customers, best-efforts broadband service provides a greater value proposition than dedicated services of comparable bandwidth, and the need for features such as ‘99.99 percent uptime,’ ‘the ability to prioritize traffic among different Quality of Service (‘QoS’) levels for different applications,’ and low jitter and latency is not worth the premium. Cable companies routinely market their best-efforts broadband services as an alternative to dedicated services such as DS1, and many business customers view them as competitive alternatives to legacy TDM-based dedicated services. . . .  The Commission cannot simply exclude best-efforts broadband services because they are not functionally identical to dedicated services.”

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Wireline Bureau BDS Document Dump

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on June 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm

The following may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“For months, the FCC has been pushing aside the APA and due process in this proceeding. This is especially troubling when the policies the agency seems to be pursuing will have such a devastating impact on the incentives of all companies to invest in fiber infrastructure in the United States. Over and over, the Commission has modified and updated data that are supposed to be the foundation of its analysis without allowing parties sufficient time to adjust to the constantly moving target.  Yesterday, the Commission released the peer review responses to its third-party economist’s study (the study which constitutes the analytical core of its NPRM) two months after they were received by the Commission, and on the same day comments on the NPRM were due.  The Commission did this despite having assured all parties that it would release the peer review data when completed, which should have been two months ago.

“To put it another way, the FCC released an NPRM which it knew (at the time of release) was based on a study that peer review had determined was flawed. It then required the industry to file comments on that flawed study. And once comments were filed, the Commission performed a huge data dump on the industry (which we will now have to unpack and comment upon) containing these previously withheld peer reviews and additional analyses that purport to respond to them.  Moreover, instead of having their hired third party economist address the comments from his peers on his paper, the Commission assigned that task to the same FCC staff which will write the final rules in this proceeding.  This is completely unorthodox and defeats the entire purpose of having a third party study in the first place.

“Whatever the FCC’s excuse for delaying the release of this critical data, the lack of due process only reinforces that this agency is driving to reach a pre-ordained outcome. This is the very thing that is not supposed to happen under the Administrative Procedures Act.  Rather than arriving at a sound policy decision based on unbiased factual analysis, the Commission seems determined to once again put its thumb on the scale, picking winners and losers in the market based on their own arbitrary predetermined interests.  Further, the agency appears to be ignoring the Commission’s statutorily required processes in order to achieve that desired result.   Actions like this ultimately tarnish the agency’s reputation and leave the Commission open to claims that it is merely carrying out a politically motivated agenda rather than acting as an independent agency operating in accordance with the APA.  The FCC may be in a hurry to check every box on its agenda before January, but that in no way excuses the process abuses we are seeing.”

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