Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on April 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm
Today, press reports indicate that Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, suggested the FCC should write rules that favor Sprint in the broadcast TV spectrum incentive auction. Attribute the following to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:
“It never ceases to amaze me how some executives can go to Wall Street and brag about their unique and massive spectrum position, then come to Washington and claim the exact opposite. And then demand the government allocate spectrum to them rather than auction it in an open bidding process as Congress directed. Particularly when that company has failed to even bid in previous auctions of lower band spectrum. This is nonsense, and would simply lead to a failed auction as anyone with sense understands. Moreover, it’s not the government’s job to give to any company advantages it’s been unable to win from consumers in a free market.”
Posted by: Hank Hultquist on April 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Virginia Postrel’s famous book contrasted two different attitudes toward the future. One, which she called “stasism,” is focused on controlling and directing forces of change based on preconceived notions of how the future should unfold or, worse yet, a nostalgia for an idealized past. The other, which she called “dynamism,” embraces the unplanned (indeed “unplannable”) future with hope, as well as humility regarding human power to control phenomena that arise from the countless, decentralized decisions of individuals.
One might ordinarily expect a regulatory agency like the FCC to fall into the camp of stasists almost by default. After all, their job is to “regulate,” which can be another way of saying “control.” But Postrel recognized the need for some minimal set of rules to protect an environment in which all those decentralized decisions can be made. And sometimes even a regulator can surprise you.
Today, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking on modernizing its rules around the assignment of telephone numbers for IP-based service providers. The current rules, (like so many FCC rules), go back to the days when plain old telephone service was king and VoIP was a plaything for hobbyists. They do not permit IP-based providers like Vonage to obtain numbers directly from the numbering administrators. Instead, such providers must go to their TDM competitors in order to obtain telephone numbers.
Posted by: Jim Cicconi on April 3, 2013 at 11:23 am
The FCC’s 16th Wireless Competition Report is out and, as has been widely reported, the good news is abundant. This year’s report achieves new analytical depth and breadth, and marshals an impressive picture of the U.S. wireless industry.
Virtually everyone in the U.S. now has access to mobile voice and broadband service (99.9% and 99.5%, respectively), and 82% of Americans can choose from between at least four facilities-based mobile broadband providers. Investment in U.S. wireless networks is growing at a rate that is the envy of other countries, with total 2011 investment topping $25 billion and LTE deployments expanding rapidly.
And U.S. consumers are reaping the competitive benefits. Americans are embracing smartphones in record numbers (67% chose smartphones in 2012), mobile data traffic continues its exponential growth, and unit prices, for both minutes and megabytes, are falling. In fact, the Report’s CPI analysis shows that U.S. wireless services are a bargain – since December 1997, the CPI for wireless services has declined by 40% while the overall CPI increased by nearly 40%.