As our need for more data grows, so does the need for more wireless spectrum. As a result, cell phone companies have been squabbling over the acquisition of the spectrum. The most recent development in this saga is a letter to the Federal Communications Commission by Verizon’s opponents, asking the FCC to halt the review of a purchase of spectrum for $3.9 billion by Verizon until certain documents are made public.
The center of this controversy is a deal that Verizon struck up last December to purchase Advanced Wireless Systems (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint effort from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Verizon would pay $3.9 billion for acquiring the spectrum, allowing them to expand their LTE network.
Other companies have been calling foul on this deal. T-Mobile had already requested that the FCC halt Verizon’s purchase of spectrum. They argued that this would give Verizon an excessive amount of wireless spectrum that they wouldn’t even use in the foreseeable future. T-Mobile claimed the Verizon/cable company deal would hurt competition and was not in the public’s best interest.
Verizon responded to these accusations by stating that their current spectrum holdings would no longer support the increase in LTE data traffic by the end of 2015.
There are several redacted sections in this response, however. Sentences marked “highly confidential” would seemingly contain information about Verizon’s plans to build out its networks.
This has caused several companies, such as Sprint, DirecTV, and T-Mobile, along with advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Media Access Project, to request for those redacted segments to be publicly shared before the FCC can proceed in their review of Verizon’s deal.
“As an institutional matter, the Commission cannot allow Verizon and the cable companies to make unilateral determinations that certain information is not relevant to Commission’s public interest determination or is too sensitive to be sufficiently protected by Commission safeguards,” they wrote. “As a policy matter, the Commission cannot allow the applicants to deny production of evidence for the record without which interested parties would be unable to submit … fully informed analyses.”
We’re hoping at Talk Android that the FCC will require that all relevant information is made public, and that the ruling of this deal will be in the best interest of the consumer, not just large corporations.
source: IT World