Harold Feld, who knows more about this in his little finger than 100 of the smartest little fingers you care to pile up, thinks AT&T’s “tepid expression of possible interest in a Frontline ‘E Block’ license” is big news, “on par with support from Senator John Kerry and Presidential candidate John Edwards.” Says Harold:
That looks pretty tame, until one considers the speaker and the context. In spectrum lobbying terms, this is roughly the equivalent of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying that, under the right circumstances, he would accept an invitation to visit Israel and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Frontline is bidding for some of the 700mH spectrum so it can act as a wholesaler, opening up the band to whatever businesses want to participate. This is a gazillion times preferable to selling it all to the incumbents who will continue to freeze out competitors and thus freeze out all innovations that are not theirs and that do not support their particular business model. AT&T now says it’d consider bidding for a spread of spectrum even if it were required to act as a wholesaler and open it up to all comers.
Harold speculates that AT&T sees this as a way of getting the national coverage it wants. It would rather have coverage at the price of openness than cede it to cable.
David Isenberg has created a transcript of the snippet available of John Kneuer — Bush policy guy — at Supernova. The bit David had available started immediately after I asked him the first question. Since he posted it, the entire video has gone up on the Supernova site.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has run a scary op-ed opposing open access from two guys who have taken money from the the telecom trade association. I know two industry insiders who are going to be receiving some very expensive single malt whiskey from some powerful friends! [Tags: 700mh telecom net_neutrality john_kneuer supernova2007 supernova harold_feld at&t david_isenberg wapo]
Categories: Uncategorized dw