updated 03:35 pm EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
Verizon argues no other place to buy spectrum
A currently ongoing trial US Congress' Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from Verizon about its buy of AWS spectrum from cable companies that include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House. During the meeting, Verizon said it would continue to develop its FiOS fiber optic service into which it's already invested some $23 billion and that customers will see no decrease in choices or increased prices from the move due to marketing agreements between cable companies and Verizon, John Eggerton tweeted. The provider's representatives also said it's a good steward of spectrum and is more efficient than some others at using it.
Verizon further claimed that, if its buyout is rejected, it wouldn't have any other source to turn to for buying the spectrum.
Critics of the deal, on the other hand, such as the Rural Cellular Association, are arguing that the spectrum transfer would effectively eliminate potential competitors. Another person against it, Joel Kelsey, of the policy group Free Press, told the Senate the agreements between Verizon and cable companies would lead to a monopoly.
The RCA went on to say that if the deal is approved, it needs to include conditions that lay out roaming, backhaul, interoperability, and spectrum divestiture conditions.
If Verizon gets through this obstacle, with or without provisos, the deal will require an FCC approval and ensure the Department of Justice doesn't deem it violates anti-trust rules. The former isn't going that well, while the latter's move to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger could act as a precedent that's likely to mean more of the same for Verizon.