Tech at Night: AT&T, T-Mobile, NAB, Spectrum

On July 25, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

It was mentioned in the previous Tech at Night’s comments, but here it is directly: the NAB has come out against incentive auctions to free up spectrum for wireless Internet. I say we should dismiss their concerns. Incentive auctions are voluntary and compensate the original spectrum holders. Rights are respected, as we get a superior spectrum allocation for American needs.

For once, the FCC has the right idea.

Let’s just hope the FCC does the right thing on AT&T and T-Mobile. As highlighted by the Daily Caller and Media Freedom, there’s a heavy campaign of scripted opposition to the deal going on. Astroturf? Hard to say, but as the DC points out, CREDO, a telecom itself, is active alongside Sprint in whipping up opposition, trying to use government to reduce competition in its own field.

Because yes, while CTIA claims the deal would reduce competition, they’re doubly wrong by my estimation. There are two levels of competition that matter: low-end phone service, and high-end Internet service. At the low end, there are many, many carriers out there, and one merger won’t make a dent in competition. At the high end presently, the lack of 4G available from AT&T and T-Mobile reduces the field. If they get together and deploy 4G, then competition grows. Period.

And yet more reason to be dissatisfied with AT&T’s opposition: [HTML Fixed] the shadily cozy relationship between Sprint and the California PUC.

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