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AT&T blasts FCC staff report

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Dec 2011 8:55 User comments (1)

AT&T blasts FCC staff report AT&T brands FCC staff report "one-sided", questions whether authors were predisposed.
Unsurprisingly, AT&T did not react to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff report very enthusiastically. The report tore into the claims AT&T made to regulators about the positive outcomes from such a large merger, which would crate the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

"The report cherry-picks facts to support its views, and ignores facts that don't," Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, said. "Where facts were lacking, the report speculates, with no basis, and then treats its own speculations as if they were fact. This is clearly not the fair and objective analysis to which any party is entitled, and which we have every right to expect."

Several of the main topics of the FCC report were addressed by AT&T. It claims that AT&T will expand its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) deployment from 80 percent of the population to 97.4 percent of the population without the merger ever happening. The report says this will occur because AT&T will be forced to do so by competition, despite documents and sworn declarations by AT&T to the contrary.

"To argue this, the report apparently assumes a high enough level of competition exists in rural areas to compel billions of dollars in investment. Yet the report elsewhere argues that the level of wireless competition in more populated areas of America is so fragile that the merger must be disallowed. At the very least, these conclusions show a logical inconsistency."

Cicconi blasted the report for discounting AT&T's job commitments, in particular related to the billions of dollars AT&T said it would invest in LTE mobile broadband services. He questioned why the FCC would conclude that this additional investment to bring LTE broadband to 55 million more Americans would create no jobs or spur new investment by others, while the regulator concluded that its own $4.5 billion broadband fund (to deliver wireline broadband to 7 million more Americans) would create approximately half a million jobs and $50 billion in economic growth.

"This notion ? that government spending on broadband deployment creates jobs and economic growth, but private investment does not?makes no sense. Conversely, if the FCC had applied to its own broadband fund the same analysis it used for our merger-related investments, the result would be similar?zero new broadband, zero jobs, zero growth."

On Competition, Cicconi claims the report's competitive analysis wilfully ignores critical facts about the wireless market and distorts evidence that it presents.

"We would encourage all observers to read the report itself. We believe that the utter absence of balance is clear, and demonstrates that the document lacks all credibility," he said as part of the conclusion.

Read the full response to the FCC report at: attpublicpolicy.com

Tags: fcc AT&T
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1 user comment

14.12.2011 14:26

If AT&T digs any farther they will hit lava.



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