When asked about the impact of the FCC's new net neutrality rules, top cable-industry executives have offered up a somewhat unified response: the effects should be minimal as long as the agency holds true to its promise not regulate rates.
CenturyLink has received forbearance on dominant-carrier regulation from the FCC related to its packet-switched and optical switching services, but competitive groups say the decision could set a dangerous precedent of jacking up wholesale rates for CLECs.
AT&T Mobility is working with several smaller carriers, likely including T-Mobile US and U.S. Cellular, to prepare for interoperability between their different band classes in the 700 MHz band. In a filing with the FCC, AT&T revealed the progress it has made in following through on a commitment it made in September 2013 to support interoperability between Band Class 17 and Band Class 12 in the 700 MHz band.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said yesterday the agency is going to fix its rules on designated entities to ensure that they benefit truly small businesses and are not used as a front to give discounts on spectrum to multibillion-dollar corporations. Lawmakers, a Republican FCC commissioner and carriers have said that Dish Network manipulated the FCC's designated entity system in its bidding strategy for the AWS-3 spectrum auction to get discounts on airwaves.
While there is a legitimate concern that LTE Broadcast content will be given a higher quality of service than regular, over-the-top video content, I don't think the situation will violate net neutrality. In fact, based on conversations I have had this week with experts at vendors that specialize in LTE Broadcast (and, admittedly, are proponents of the technology), carriers' use of it is likely to benefit customers, even those who are not taking advantage of it.
Verizon Communications, AT&T, Comcast and other carriers and ISPs are likely going to let industry trade associations take up the legal fight against the FCC and sue the agency over its net neutrality rules, according to a Reuters report.
T-Mobile US wants to make sure the FCC knows the benefits of using Licensed Assisted Access technology in, among others, the 3.5 GHz band, saying it's compatible with Wi-Fi and should be considered as the FCC adopts rules for the 3.5 GHz band.
For months, there's been a popular notion held among media analysts that the proposed merger of AT&T and DirecTV is enjoying a smooth regulatory review process largely because all of the focus is on the prospective Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal. Reuters says AT&T and DirecTV's proposed $49 billion deal is indeed getting far less scrutiny.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's new net neutrality rules are now facing yet another investigation by the FCC's Inspector General David Hunt, who is also looking into whether the Obama administration improperly influenced the agency's development of the net neutrality rules, according to reports.
The LightSquared bankruptcy saga continues. Two private equity firms, Cerberus Capital Management and Solus Alternative Asset Management, proposed a new restructuring plan for LightSquared that has garnered the support of Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, LightSquared's largest creditor.