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Background: AT&T recently announced a number of spectrum deals. The largest is its acquisition of NextWave for $600 million. AT&T has also announced, or there have been reports of, deals with Cavalier, Horizon, Comcast, and Triad 700.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"The 'spectrum gap' between AT&T and Verizon and the rest of the industry is already unacceptably large. These proposed transactions would worsen it. They are a symptom of our broken spectrum policy, which rewards concentration rather than competition.
"While AT&T would might make better use of the NextWave spectrum than NextWave, which was letting it lie fallow, those shouldn't be the only two options.
An important question to ask is why this valuable spectrum was allowed to go unused for so long. To prevent this waste, the FCC needs to adopt build-out policies that discourage speculation, and 'use it or share it' policies that allow for unlicensed use of fallow spectrum. Finally, the FCC needs to update its spectrum screen to discourage the same few companies from acquiring more and more of this vital resource."