updated 11:35 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012
Company blasts proposed changes
T-Mobile's vice president of federal regulatory affairs, Kathleen Ham, has issued a statement calling for the FCC to establish tighter rules for spectrum auctions. As a former FCC auctions division chief, Ham argues that pending congressional legislation and the "newfound distrust" in the FCC may push smaller companies out of the spectrum auctions.
"The real concern should be on efforts to oust the FCC from its place at the auctions table," Ham says. "The FCC has the experience and expertise to ensure that each auction is structured to promote robust competition, both in bidding and service provision, and results in the most efficient and effective use of the spectrum."
T-Mobile is expected to get a significant boost from an agreement with AT&T that is believed to entitle the former to spectrum and $3 billion in cash due to the unsuccessful acquisition attempt. Ham's statement, however, suggests the company is pushing to ensure that it will have a chance to license even more spectrum as it comes to auction.
"Eliminating the FCC's authority to establish competitive rules, just as Congress is poised to authorize significant new auctions, could discourage participation by bidders other than the largest carriers, ironically driving down auction revenues and potentially undermining the very economic development Congress hopes to gain through its legislation," Ham added.