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Spectrum auction restrictions could cost billions in revenue

08 Nov, 2013

A new study by the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and the Consumer Electronics Association looked at the upcoming federal spectrum auction. It found that the bidding restrictions on AT&T and Verizon being pushed by T-Mobile and Sprint could cost the public $6 billion in revenue.

The study, Maximizing the Success of the Incentive Auction, was written by law professor Fred Campbell, former FCC chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Among other things, it looked at past auctions and found that restrictions had:

•    Delayed the provision of new wireless services to sixty-eight percent (68%) of the public by a weighted average of nearly seven (7) years
•    Reduced auction revenue by lowering net bids by thirty-one percent (31%) to sixty-one percent (61%)
•    Failed to substantially benefit wireless competition.

In addition, CWA has pointed out that the proposed restrictions are groundless and unnecessary for a fair auction. Both T-Mobile and Sprint have recently concluded multi-billion dollar merger deal and Sprint has acquired an excess of spectrum.

Both the restrictions would jeopardize funding for deployment of the nation’s public safety network, and would unfairly favor companies like T-Mobile and Sprint that fail to respect workers rights.

Speed Matters and CWA support fair and open auction rules.

Maximizing the Success of the Incentive Auction (Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and Consumer Electronics Association, Nov. 4, 2013)

CWA to FCC: Spectrum auction must be open, competitive (Speed Matters, Oct. 30, 2013)

Limiting Spectrum Bids May Lower Auction $$ ( News Check, Nov. 4, 2013)

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