Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AT&T Blasts FCC's Staff Report -- "Logical Inconsistencies"

AT&T harshly criticized the recently released FCC report which found its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA would hurt competition. Two points in its stinging rebuke stand out.

First, AT&T notes that the FCC incorrectly assumes that it will expand its LTE network to rural areas of the country even if the merger fails. Likewise, the FCC assumes that Deutsche Telekom will continue to invest in the T-Mobile USA network and upgrade it to LTE if the merger fails. Neither of these conclusions is supported by facts, claims AT&T.

Secondly, on the issue of whether the merger would create jobs or not, AT&T notes that the FCC holds a much different opinion of its own broadband stimulus programs. The FCC's report concludes that the billions of dollars in additional capital investment promised by AT&T to bring LTE to rural America would create no new jobs and spur no new investment by others. However, FCC recently announced that its own $4.5 billion Connect America broadband fund will create “approximately 500,000 jobs and $50 billion in economic growth over the same period.�?

"This notion — that government spending on broadband deployment creates jobs and economic growth, but private investment does not—makes no sense," stated Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs.