T-Mobile Tells FCC: Verizon Spectrum-Auction Analysis Is Total Bunk

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-10-19 Print this article Print

Spectrum, unlike timber, "cannot be grown or imported," wrote Hanbury, referring to one of Marx's examples.

"Professor Marx's analysis also ignores the potential for smaller bidders to limit their participation in the face of foreclosing dominant incumbents," Hanbury continued. "Adopting spectrum-aggregation limits will actually increase participation, which should, as Professor Marx has predicted in papers not sponsored by Verizon, enhance auction revenues."

T-Mobile's Auction Limit Suggestions

T-Mobile has proposed a Dynamic Market Rule, which would, it explained in a June 21 FCC filing, put limits in place. Should the bids, with the limits, fail to reach the Commission's revenue targets, they could be lifted.

Gregory Rosston, deputy director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy, who has spoken on behalf of T-Mobile, has said the DMR could enable the auction to make actually even more money than without limits and described the DMR as an "insurance plan" of sorts. 

T-Mobile, in a Sept. 26 letter to the FCC, also proposed a "one-third limit" rule, in which any carrier could acquire spectrum below 1GHz (sub-1GHz spectrum is prized for its ability to best offer cellular coverage deep within buildings), but not more than one-third of the total available amount in any area. Under this proposal, AT&T and Verizon would be eligible to purchase sub-1GHz spectrum in all 10 major markets, with the one exception of AT&T in Dallas, where its holdings are already substantial, according to T-Mobile.

The FCC is likely to put its auction rules in place once its next chairperson is settled in. In March, Julius Genachowski announced his plan to retire from the position, and in May, President Obama nominated Tom Wheeler for the position.

During the Senate's time of vetting and confirming Wheeler, President Obama named Commissioner Mignon Clyburn the FCC's acting chair.

"Something that big and important," Harold Feld, senior vice president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, has told eWEEK, in regard to setting the auction's rules, "is not something an acting chair would do."

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