Yesterday, TechFreedom filed comments asking the FCC to conduct the open auctions of spectrum reclaimed from broadcasters as Congress intended in passing the Spectrum Act last year. Specifically, we asked the FCC to reject arguments made by some wireless companies to exclude their competitors from the auction by imposing a cap on spectrum holdings below 1 GHz. They begin:
Over the last several years, America’s wireless industry has become the world leader in high-speed mobile service. The key to this success has been the availability of spectrum to meet exploding consumer demand for data service. Yet, in the first round of comments in this proceeding, several wireless companies and advocacy groups urged the FCC to cap how much low-frequency spectrum any one company can own. This amounts to barring AT&T and Verizon, currently the two largest holders of low-frequency spectrum, from buying more spectrum licenses in the upcoming “incentive auction” solely because they already have “too much” spectrum. These companies are investing considerable capital into next-generation networks, and prices for consumers have continued to fall even as the industry has grown more concentrated. The argument for spectrum caps rests on the assertion that concentration of spectrum leads to anticompetitive behavior, yet there is no evidence for this claim. In fact, there are serious negative consequences to forbidding AT&T and Verizon from participating in the auction: it would harm their subscribers by preventing the two companies from providing the capacity their current, and future, customers demand.
Read the full comments here.