In its latest pushback against Tier-1 carrier moves to snatch up 5G spectrum, the Competitive Carriers Association this week asked the FCC to collectively consider two of Verizon’s recent deals to acquire millimeter wave licenses.
Specifically, CCA’s Motion for Consolidation asks the FCC to combine its reviews of Verizon’s transactions with Straight Path and NextLink (as part of its XO Communications deal). The group wants the Commission to lay out a single, unified pleading cycle for public comment on the proceedings. Verizon is set to pick up Straight Path’s massive trove of 28 GHz and 39 GHz licenses for $3.1 billion, and is moving on its option to acquire additional 28 GHz airwaves from NextLink as part of its XO Communications deal.
CCA CEO Steven Berry said combining its review of those deals would help the FCC more accurately assess the impacts of those transactions on spectrum access, consumer service, and competition in the relevant markets.
“The (millimeter wave) spectrum at issue offers tremendous opportunities for rural, regional, and nationwide carriers as they begin to deploy 5G networks, and allowing one of the nation’s largest carriers to acquire this valuable spectrum will eliminate opportunities for competitors, new entrants, and consumers desiring innovative services and technologies,” Berry said in a statement. “If approved, the transactions would cause Verizon to exceed the secondary market spectrum screen of 1250 MHz established by the Spectrum Frontiers Order in a vast percentage of the markets across the country.”
The request follows a similar plea from the association filed late last month asking the Commission to block AT&T’s FiberTower acquisition and auction off the latter’s 650 millimeter wave licenses instead.
And CCA isn’t the only party opposed to carrier moves to gather up as much millimeter wave spectrum as possible ahead of 5G.
A little more than a year ago, Dish Network asked the FCC to block Verizon’s XO and NextLink deal, arguing the acquisitions would hinder competition by putting Verizon in control of key 5G assets. Verizon completed its purchase of XO Communications’ fiber business in February.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)