A public affairs group is getting out the word that not all businesses are against Verizon buying spectrum from SpectrumCo and Cox. The marketing arrangements are another matter.
Wireless, upon entering a deal with cable companies Cox Wireless and
SpectrumCoa conglomerate of Time Warner, Comcast and Bright House Networkshas
found itself in shoes very much like those that AT&T wore for nine months
or so last year, as it worked to persuade the Federal Communications Commission
to let it buy smaller rival T-Mobile.
like AT&T, finds
itself beating back detractors
who worry that the deal will hurt
competition in the wireless industry, and so ultimately consumers. The
partnership also worried about marketing details tucked in alongside the
documents with the FCCwhich has also received a good deal of mail, of late,
from T-Mobile, Sprint and other businesses and public-interest groups questioning
the deal and its motivesVerizon has taken a two-pronged approach, arguing that
the deal will benefit Americans and that it's not really anything the FCC
should worry about, or possibly even has jurisdiction over.
not everyone is against the Verizon deal.
organizations have offered testimony in favor of, specifically, the spectrum
sale, according to a document circulated by the DCI Group
, a Washington, D.C.-based group
that, according to its Website, helps clients "craft the right messages
around their issues" and "ensure the desired policy-makers hear
the DCI document, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is quoted as saying a
denial of the Verizon, Cox and SpectrumCo applications "would be
detrimental to the public interest."
more bandwidth available now is not only critical for consumers but also to
provide the lubricant for the 'app' market on which so many small and emerging
businesses now depend," added the Latinos in Information Sciences and
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while declining to weigh in on the specific
transaction, said that mobile broadband will be a "key component in the
creation of jobs and innovation" and the recovery of the U.S. economy.
the Lane Metro Partnership (LMP), in its statement,
to touch on arguably the most disputed aspect of the deala for-now opaque
arrangement in which Verizon and the cable companies will bundle and market
each others' offerings.
such as this can actually expand competitive horizons and reduce costs by
allowing bundled services to be marketed at a discount and by reducing
duplicated costs through such mechanisms as integrated billing," said LMP.
March 8, Politico
ran an interview
with Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen, who said the spectrum sale
and marketing agreements were inseparable.
"There was never any discussion about selling the
spectrum without having the commercial agreements," Cohen said,
according to Politico
The article prompted Sprint, T-Mobile, the Rural
Telecommunications Group, Media Access Project, Free Press, Public Knowledge
and DirecTV to jointly write the FCC
that same day, asking it to review all
details of the deal and pleading for
Commission must ensure that the record includes complete and unredacted
versions of the commercial agreements, and that interested parties are given
sufficient opportunity to review and comment upon them," said the joint
Verizon and its cable partners had earlier submitted a
299-page report to the FCC, describing the deal and offering testimony about
its expected benefits. However, large sections of the document, available
online for the public to review, were thought too private to include and were
In a March 8 letter, the FCC told Verizon and its partners
that it requires "additional information and clarification of certain
matters discussed in the applications and other information provided to the
asked that all parties respond no later than March 22.