Originally published: February 9, 2012
Last updated: February 9, 2012 - 8:47pm
If you thought the sparring between AT&T and Sprint ended with the demise late last year of AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile, think again.
AT&T is once again on opposite sides of a major telecom issue with Sprint, a fierce critic of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, and several other smaller rivals. The issue this time is over legislation aimed at freeing up more spectrum to meet the public's growing demand for wireless technologies. Sprint, along with T-Mobile, C-Spire Wireless, Cricket and other smaller wireless operators want members of Congress to give the Federal Communications Commission discretion to design future spectrum auctions as it sees fit. They called on lawmakers Wednesday to strip a provision from House spectrum legislation that would bar the FCC from imposing restrictions on who can bid for spectrum given up for auction by broadcasters. "The proposed provision would substantially limit the FCC's ability to promote competition and a competitive wireless marketplace for consumers throughout America. It would facilitate spectrum warehousing, inefficient use of scarce spectrum resources, and reduce spectrum auction revenues to the U.S. Treasury," they wrote in a letter to the House and Senate payroll tax conference committee. The payroll tax cut package could include the spectrum legislation.
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