A day after Verizon general counsel Randal Milch testified before a Senate committee defending the company's proposed acquisition of AWS spectrum from a joint venture of several cable companies, the company has taken its case directly to the public with a new post on its Policy Blog. The Judiciary Committee is actively looking at the implications both of the spectrum deal (at a time when many carriers, big and small, are looking for spectrum wherever they can find it) and also of a number of associated cross-marketing deals, which have cable companies like Comcast hawking Verizon services in stores and vice versa — a move that both Congress and the FCC are concerned may limit both wireless and wireline competition, and may violate the Telecommunications Act of 1996 along the way.
The company's new blog post is essentially a boiled-down, human-readable version of arguments that it has already submitted to the government in recent weeks: that demand for wireless data is growing rapidly, Verizon uses its existing inventory of spectrum more efficiently than any other American carrier, and that cable competition won't be reduced by the cross-marketing agreement because the company has no intention to offer FiOS service in areas of the country where it would partner with existing cable companies. "There is no way that we'd undermine such a significant investment and successful product" as FiOS, it says.
With the deal continuing to get both FCC and Congressional scrutiny, it could be some time before this is resolved one way or another; Sprint, T-Mobile, and other members of the RCA are firmly against it, and it's likely we'll see some more campaigning from them in the weeks ahead.