Originally published: May 5, 2011
Last updated: May 5, 2011 - 8:47pm
There is simply no reason to consolidate the AT&T/Qualcomm proceeding with the AT&T/T-Mobile proceeding.
The AT&T/Qualcomm proceeding has been pending for months, and the parties in the proceeding have had a full opportunity to brief their concerns during the pleading cycle. A delay in the proceeding also could result in a delay in AT&T’s more efficient use of the spectrum (as early as 2014) – a result inconsistent with the National Broadband Plan’s goal of putting spectrum to a more efficient use. Moreover, the Commission is fully capable of taking the impact of AT&T’s acquisition of the Qualcomm spectrum into account in its competitive analysis in the separate AT&T/T-Mobile proceeding. Indeed, the AT&T/T-Mobile applications assume the consummation of the AT&T/Qualcomm transaction for purposes of the spectrum screen analysis in the Public Interest Statement filed in that proceeding. In addition, adoption of the consolidation standard proposed by the Joint Parties and its application to the AT&T/Qualcomm and AT&T/T-Mobile transactions would introduce chaos into an assignment and transfer review process that has been in place for decades. Section 309 of the Communications Act prohibits such a result. Congress requires the Commission to make individualized transfer and assignment decisions, and not lump together proceedings based on general “competition” or “spectrum aggregation” concerns