The FCC Should Reject Verizon’s Attempt to Amass Millimeter Wave Spectrum, and Instead Auction Straight Path’s Licenses to Protect Consumers and Industry Competition
Washington, DC – August 25, 2017 – Today, in a reply to the joint opposition of Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”) and Straight Path Communications Inc. (“Straight Path”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to grant CCA’s petition to deny and make a substantial portion of Straight Path’s license portfolio available to all carriers at auction. The proposed transaction would concentrate valuable 5G-ready millimeter wave (“mmW”) spectrum in the hands of Verizon, breaching the Commission’s newly adopted mmW spectrum screen.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “While often contradictory, Verizon and Straight Path’s arguments vastly understate the importance of 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum to 5G networks. This spectrum is a valuable taxpayer-owned resource, and it is in the public’s and the economy’s best interests to auction the spectrum, rather than handing it over to Verizon – an already dominant carrier.”
“Verizon tried and failed to downplay the amount of spectrum they might receive. If approved, the transaction would allow Verizon to control more than 54% of all 28 GHz spectrum, 38% of all 39 GHz spectrum, and 45% of all combined 28 and 39 GHz spectrum. Counting the spectrum Verizon will receive from Nextlink, that leaves a paltry 20% of the remaining MHz-POPs in the 28 and 39 GHz bands available for auction. More of their spectrum should be auctioned; it benefits taxpayers and encourages competition in the market. Especially with the proposed AT&T/FiberTower transaction currently on the table, there is a real risk of preventing competitors from the opportunity to acquire valuable spectrum resources. I strongly encourage the Commission to ignore Verizon and Straight Path’s erroneous arguments and deny the proposed transaction for the benefit of consumers, competition and the economy.”
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.
# # #