June 26, 2015
Via Electronic Filing
The Honorable Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St. SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Chairman Wheeler:
Today I am writing to you to express my disappointment in the position you took regarding the Incentive Auction in your blog dated June 25th. More importantly, I am asking you to reconsider and stand strong for American consumers.
From the day you took office you have repeated a mantra of competition, competition, competition. However, your recent blog proposes a low-band spectrum reserve that is too small to support a robustly competitive market and is really frustrating. The amount of low-band spectrum you have proposed reserving for competitive carriers is just not enough to support more than one rival to the two dominant players: AT&T and Verizon.
The FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice have said more than once that the United States needs at least four nationwide wireless competitors to ensure consumers enjoy the choice and innovation they have come to expect from the wireless industry. Failing to arm competitors with sufficient low-band spectrum needed to challenge Verizon and AT&T is a policy choice that will have a long lasting negative impact on American consumers.
The Department of Justice has written you three times in three years, most recently on Wednesday of this week. Their letter urged you to do all you can to avoid excessive concentration of licenses, as the Communications Act requires. It urged you to foster more competition for consumers. The Department of Justice is right, AT&T and Verizon are not.
The reality is that a spectrum reserve that is too small to support competition would mean that Verizon and AT&T will win and consumers will lose.
Therefore, I will continue to fight on behalf of all wireless consumers. This decision is too important to the future of competition for me to ignore. Consumers deserve choice.
In light of the input just received from the Department of Justice and the continuing surge of public input supporting a larger reserve, your position seems premature. I urge you to work with the other Commissioners to revisit your position and reconsider the reserve allocation for the Incentive Auction.
T-Mobile USA, Inc.