FCC Should Deny Anti-Competitive Aggregation of mmW Spectrum
Washington, DC – July 11, 2017 – Today, in a Reply filed in response to Verizon/Nextlink’s Joint Opposition, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) again encouraged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) to deny Verizon’s Application to acquire Nextlink, in tandem with the pending Verizon/Straight Path application, to prevent substantial anti-competitive harms on consumers, the economy, and industry’s advancement toward next-generation technologies. The FCC should review the Verizon/Nextlink Application with a full understanding of all surrounding facts and circumstances, and carefully analyze the competitive impacts of both transactions on the road to 5G.
“It is certainly no surprise that Verizon is trying to downplay the substantial anti-competitive harms that would result from its acquisition of Nextlink, alongside the millimeter wave (mmW) spectrum that could be aggregated by Verizon in the Verizon/Straight Path Transaction,” said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry. “Should both transactions be approved without condition, Verizon would meet or exceed the screen established by the FCC’s Spectrum Frontiers Report & Order in nearly one-third of the counties in the United States, leaving less than 20% of the MHz-POPs available for competitive bidding in the 28 and 39 GHz bands. It is absolutely essential that the FCC look at the whole picture to provide access for all carriers seeking to offer next generation wireless services.”
“Additionally, the Commission’s grant of these applications without condition would result in dangerous consolidation of critical new bands at the start of the race to 5G. The facts are crystal clear – if granted, Verizon will control 54% of all 28 GHz spectrum, 38% of all 39 GHz spectrum and 45% of the combined 28 and 39 GHz spectrum on a MHz-POP basis – allowing Verizon monopolize the mmW marketplace to the detriment of consumers, competition, and the economy. A fulsome review of the Verizon/Nextlink Application must be taken to prevent this harmful outcome and the potential derailment of the FCC’s 5G agenda. In the alternative, the FCC should require that Verizon return any transferred spectrum that meets or exceeds the 1250 MHz spectrum screen, and then place those resources on public auction. CCA looks forward to continued work with the Commission to address potential anti-competitive harms and ensure all carriers are included in the 5G revolution.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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