WASHINGTON, DC – CTIA-The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent issued the following statement today in response to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin’s comments in today’s USA Today regarding the upcoming 700 MHz auction:
“Crafting special rules for a company with a market cap of $170 billion to address problems that don’t exist in our competitive market makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The bottom line is that the American taxpayer is at serious risk of losing billions of dollars because one of the wealthiest companies in the world has apparently convinced policymakers that they require special auction rules that tailor-fit their business plan.
“Contrary to what was reported in the media, many wireless providers are offering Wi-Fi-enabled devices, and consumers are purchasing and using those devices across the country, not just at company-branded hot-spots. In fact, wireless consumers today have access to more than 700 different wireless handsets.
“And let’s be very clear about one critical fact. No party has ever been prohibited from bidding on spectrum at a public auction. Any company that wants to provide wireless service is and always has been welcome to bid, and if successful at auction they are free do whatever they wish with the spectrum they have purchased.
“We sincerely hope the Commission recognizes the indisputable facts of this debate and decides on a policy that places all bidders on equal footing.”
CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry,
representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.