Verizon Attacks Critics, Scorns T-Mobile Claims for Spectrum

NEWS ANALYSIS: Verizon calls complaints by Alliance for Broadband Competition a repetition of old arguments from a new group. Verizon also rejected T-Mobile’s claim that it should be allowed to acquire the wireless spectrum that its rival wants to buy as factually unsupported and self-serving.

Verizon has come out swinging in response to a series of press announcements by the Alliance for Broadband Competition, which accused Verizon of conspiring with a group of cable companies to create an Internet cartel that would harm consumers.

The Alliance complained strongly about a Joint Operating Entity, saying that this would enable Verizon and its partners in the JOE to excessively control access to the Internet, to Web content as well as the price of Internet access. Two carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel, were particularly vocal in opposing the Verizon plan to buy spectrum from the cable companies, with T-Mobile saying it should be allowed to buy it instead.

Verizon Vice President of Policy Communications Edward McFadden provided a prepared statement to eWEEK downplaying the statements by the Alliance. "This faux-coalition is 'old whine in a new bottle.' The same companies and political groups, making the same claims, that have already been filed at the FCC on the SpectrumCo deal,€ McFadden said in his prepared statement.

€œIn short, there is nothing new here. Verizon Wireless has responded to each of these claims in our filings on multiple occasions, has addressed them with the FCC, and is confident that we have a made a strong case on bringing unused spectrum to meet the needs of consumers is in the public interest.€

While Verizon€™s responses to much of what has been said by Alliance members are heavily redacted, McFadden provided to eWEEK a copy of an unredacted ex parte filing with the FCC from May 21 responding to T-Mobile€™s filing of May 15, which puts forth T-Mobile€™s argument why it should be awarded the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum that Verizon plans to buy from the cable companies. T-Mobile€™s filing is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation to the commission.

In its response, Verizon says that T-Mobile€™s presentation provides nothing new. €œT-Mobile offers no new analysis, facts or reasons that could justify denying the pending applications to assign AWS spectrum in the secondary market. These transactions will help provide the spectrum capacity necessary for Verizon Wireless to meet consumers€™ growing needs for 4G service. T-Mobile, however, simply repeats claims that the Applicants have rebutted in the past,€ Verizon says in its opening salvo against T-Mobile.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...