The FCC Should Deny the Verizon/Straight Path Transaction to Protect Against Saturation of mmW Spectrum Critical to 5G
Washington, DC – August 11, 2017 – Today, in a Petition to Deny filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to deny the proposed transaction to transfer the control of Local Multipoint Distribution Service, 39 GHz, 3650-3700 MHz, and common carrier fixed point to point microwave licenses from Straight Path Communications Inc. (“Straight Path”) to Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”). If approved, the transaction would consolidate enormous amounts of millimeter wave (“mmW”) spectrum into the hands of Verizon and would exceed the FCC’s spectrum screen in key local markets. CCA encouraged the Commission to deny the application and instead make Straight Path’s licenses available to all carriers through competitive bidding.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “Industry consolidation is a huge concern for competitive carriers, and a transaction of this magnitude would no doubt have a negative impact on competition and consumers. mmW spectrum will be essential to the rollout of next-generation wireless networks, and allowing Verizon, one of the nation’s largest carriers, to acquire such a large amount of this next generation spectrum could thwart competitive carriers’ efforts to deploy next-generation technologies in some of the most rural and remote areas of the United States. Whether considered alone or in connection with other pending applications such as the Verizon/Nextlink Transaction, the Verizon/Straight Path transaction would breach the FCC’s spectrum screen in many key local markets, and create larger aggregation harms on a national level. Ultimately, this will result in poorer service quality, reduced output, and reduced innovation that plague insufficiently competitive markets, and higher rates for consumers. To avoid this scenario, I strongly encourage the Commission to deny the application.”
“The Commission should look at the big picture here. With the proposed Verizon/Straight Path, the Verizon/Nextlink, and the AT&T/FiberTower transactions all currently on the table, there is a real risk of harming the public interest and preventing competitors from the opportunity to acquire valuable spectrum resources. The economy and the American taxpayer would benefit from a competitive bidding process for the Straight Path licenses, and I strongly encourage the Commission to deny the proposed Verizon/Straight Path application.”
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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