The Federal Communications Commission this week rejected a request from an industry group to halt Verizon’s acquisition of spectrum licenses held by Straight Path Communications.
The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents many smaller wireless carriers, has called for the FCC to reject moves by Verizon and AT&T to acquire spectrum holding companies and instead auction the spectrum in question.
The group asked the FCC to stay the transfer of hundreds of licenses to Verizon, primarily in the 39 GHz band, as its application for the agency to review the approval of the Straight Path acquisition remains pending.
But the FCC’s wireless regulator wrote in an order Monday that CCA failed to meet any of the criteria needed to stay the order.
The agency noted its original finding that the transaction would not exceed the threshold for millimeter wave spectrum holdings and “did not raise competitive concerns.” Granting a stay, however, would likely impact Verizon’s ability to deploy next-generation 5G systems.
CCA officials maintain that the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau did not properly review the effects of a Verizon-Straight Path deal and “it would be a disservice to do anything but reconsider the Bureau’s decision.”
“Millimeter wave spectrum offers tremendous opportunities for competitive carriers wanting to deploy next generation technologies, and all carriers, including Verizon, should have the opportunity to bid on the spectrum at auction,” CCA President and CEO Steve Berry said last month.