Need For Full Transparency Remains Strong to Protect the Public
The Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) applauds the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to extend the filing deadline for parties petitioning the proposed sale of spectrum from cable giants Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House Networks and Cox to Verizon Wireless. In addition to selling spectrum to Verizon Wireless, the cable companies have also entered into various commercial agreements with the country’s largest wireless provider, and the Commission has asked each of those companies to provide additional information about the various deals.
According to an FCC spokesperson, “the commercial agreements are inseparable from the proposed license transfer and related wireless competition issues” and “
RTG agrees with the Commission that the threat to competition posed by not just the sale of spectrum but also the various agent, reseller and joint venture agreements is enormous, and that only a thorough FCC review of all the various components of this massive deal is necessary to protect American consumers and the public interest.
“Verizon Wireless and the cable giants have up until this point stonewalled all efforts to disclose critical aspects of the commercial agreements,” stated RTG’s General Counsel, Carri Bennet. “By requesting that the parties submit to the FCC previously redacted information, the Commission can finally proceed with a fair and informative review of this game-changing partnership. RTG contends that the spectrum sales are highly anticompetitive and the commercial agreements are illegal, and we believe the Commission (and the DOJ) will come to the same conclusion after they review the numerous, complex business arrangements.”
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org @RTGwireless
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