Urges FCC To Limit Each Operator to 25% of Available Spectrum at the County Level
The following statement can be attributed to Carri Bennet, RTG’s General Counsel:
The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) applauds the Federal Communications Commission for taking the necessary steps to protect consumers and competition in the mobile telephony/broadband service marketplace by examining the amount of spectrum holdings attributable to mobile carriers. Over four years ago RTG filed a petition for rulemaking urging the Commission to adopt a spectrum cap on spectrum below 2.3 GHz. The elimination of the FCC’s prior spectrum caps directly led to rapid carrier consolidation over the last decade and the permanent removal of scores of rural and regional mobile carriers. The timing of the Commission’s rulemaking proceeding is crucial because significant new spectrum will not be available at auction for at least a few years. Continued carrier consolidation and spectrum hoarding in the short term does nothing but curtail consumer choice, and fewer choices means higher prices and less innovation for all Americans. RTG has proposed that the best, workable solution for maintaining at least four competitors in any given market – a scenario supported by the DOJ and FCC – is to limit any given licensee to 25% of all available and usable mobile broadband spectrum in any given county with no carrier permitted to hold more than 40% of all available and usable spectrum in any given county below 1 GHz. RTG’s proposed percentage caps will provide marketplace stability for years to come.
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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