Senators question Verizon spectrum deal

Mar 22, 2012 9:13 pm
Tom Cheredar at Venture Beat explains the Senate judiciary committee hearing Wed. March 21, where executives from Verizon and Comcast claimed consumers would benefit from the approval of a multibillion-dollar spectrum deal between the largest U.S. carrier and the country’s biggest cable television providers. Cheredar writes:
"Last year Verizon agreed to spend $3.6 billion to obtain a portion of spectrum currently owned by SpectrumCo, a joint venture that consists of Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc., Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications. That deal is currently under investigation by anti-trust regulators due to concerns that it could stifle competition and impact consumers negatively. If approved, it would mean that the majority of wireless spectrum in the U.S. (which is used to transmit data via cell phones, GPS devices, radios, broadcast TV stations, and more) would belong to only two companies, Verizon and AT&T. And because this is the only nation-wide portion of the spectrum available for the next several years (if not longer), it also means there likely won’t be many new companies emerging as competitors in the wireless market."
“This deal seems to completely abandon the goals of the Telecom Act,” Senator Al Franken said, about the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Verizon Executive VP Randal Milch, explained that, "his company would dutifully spend billions of dollars to build out SpectrumCo’s spectrum into a viable wireless network. This in turn would generate more money for Verizon by improving their overall wireless network and charging customers to use it," Cheredar writes. Read the full story at Venture Beat.
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