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Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed a memorandum with the FCC outlining how the FCC should improve its spectrum policies in ways that promote competition and benefit consumers. For years, the FCC's rules have allowed a few carriers to acquire vast spectrum holdings, which limits the ability of smaller, rural, and regional carriers to provide service. This leads to high prices and limited choice for consumers, and allows the largest carriers to use their power to control handsets and the pace of wireless innovation.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"Spectrum licenses are a scarce resource that must be managed in the public interest. As the DoJ writes, 'Our nation's ability to improve the competitive environment in wireless markets hinges on the availability of spectrum.' Among other things, the DoJ has urged the FCC to 'prevent [spectrum] transfers most likely to harm competition,' to 'weigh the risk of consumer harm from an input foreclosure strategy' where large carriers obtain spectrum not to deploy it but to keep it away from competitors, and to consider applying 'different rules, weights, or caps' to different frequencies of spectrum in recognition of their different utility in providing service.
"All of these recommendations are in line with what Public Knowledge and many others have been advocating for years, and it is gratifying to see the DoJ take such a strong stand in favor of competition and against the wireless status quo. We urge the FCC to take the DoJ's recommendations very seriously and to make reforming its spectrum aggregation policies its top wireless priority."
The document is linked here