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Do the Verizon/Cable Transactions Spell the End of “Facilities-Based” Competition?

February 23, 2012 Fiber , Spectrum , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo , Wireless

The Verizon/cable deals are a bad deal for consumers and a sad sign of the state of the communications market. But at least they finally expose the state of broadband competition for what it is. In particular the deals illustrate, through the actions of the companies themselves, that mobile wireless is not a “competitor” to wired. They’re different products with different uses. This is an obvious point to most but the hope that the broadband market was going to get competitive “real soon now” due to the pending arrival of some kind of wireless competitor or another has driven many of the FCC’s policies in the last decade. Unfortunately these policies have had the effect of undermining actually existing competition in the broadband market to pave the way for this prophesied competitor. As it stands the FCC’s record in predicting the future is on a par with Harold Camping’s.

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PK In The Know Podcast: Spectrum, Apple eBooks, Fake Data Hogs, and Bittorrent TV

February 17, 2012 Mobile Innovation , Spectrum , Spectrum Licensing , Unlicensed frequencies , Wireless

On today’s podcast we update the status of spectrum in the payroll tax bill, and discuss Apple’s overreach in its ebook authoring software, AT&T proving that data hogs are fake, and a new way to broadcast video from bittorrent.

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Public Knowledge Calls AT&T Spectrum Statements ‘Unfortunate’

January 26, 2012 AT&T , Press Release , Spectrum

The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:

 

“It is unfortunate that AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson still believes that buying out the wireless industry is the only way to improve his company’s spectrum efficiency.

 

“His comment in this morning’s earnings call that the FCC has made it clear the agency won’t allow acquisitions as a means of increasing spectrum holdings is inappropriate for two reasons. The failed acquisition of T-Mobile would have had far wider implications than simply a spectrum acquisition. It is unfortunate that AT&T thinks that the only way it can increase its spectrum holdings is to purchase a competitor.  Using its current holdings more efficiently would also go a long way to relieving the company’s purported spectrum shortage. In addition, the Commission did allow AT&T to purchase spectrum from Qualcomm. 

 

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Public Knowledge Commends Verizon and Comcast For Filing Deal Details – Yet Questions Remain

January 19, 2012 Press Release , Spectrum

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:

 

“We are pleased that Verizon and Comcast with its cable partners filed material today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explaining the details of their joint marketing and technical arrangements.

 

“This voluntary filing will eliminate a controversy that surely would have taken place had they not done so.

 

“At the same time, no one should accept the companies’ claim that the arrangement are outside of the FCC’s jurisdiction.  They clearly are.  We expect the Commission to evaluate these arrangements in the context of the spectrum deal to determine how the entire transaction will affect competition and the public interest.”

 

 

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Public Knowledge Joins Eight Others Asking For Details On Verizon-Comcast Deal

Comcast , Press Release , Spectrum

Public Knowledge was one of a group of organizations and companies which yesterday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require Verizon and Comcast to file more details about their proposed new business arrangements.

The letter is here.  

Verizon has agreed to pay $3.6 billion to several cable companies, led by Comcast, for spectrum those companies hold but have not developed.  In addition, there are agreements for Verizon to market cable products and to work together to develop new technology.

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