No Transparency From FCC

Or the National Telecommunications & Information Administration

By Catherine Hensley
Updated: September 21, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently asked AT&T to provide more information regarding its economic models for future expansion. AT&T, the nation’s second largest phone service carrier, has been trying to acquire rival T-Mobile. Such a large merger of competitors could have significant effects on the industry, as well as consequences for consumers.

In late August, the FCC requested that AT&T submit additional information on its economic models. This followed AT&T’s accidental release of information the prior week, in which it was discovered that AT&T had outlined a rationale for not providing LTE (long-term evolution) for roughly 97% of the country. This information, which AT&T redacted, received a large amount of attention, as many critics questioned why the company is reluctant to build out for approximately $3.8 billion but willing to spend roughly ten times as much to acquire T-Mobile.

This situation has caused many to question the transparency of the FCC’s merger review process. It’s assumed that the FCC already had this leaked information; it’s the public who was not privy to it prior to the leak. AT&T claims the information request is nothing out of the ordinary. But it’s apparent through this series of events that the FCC’s merger review process goes to great lengths to protect companies’ confidential information — to the point of establishing an opaque, not readily tangible review process.

The question of why they covered up broadband data remains, and it’s an important one. The data could have exposed areas where people are unable to get broadband access, for example. The public’s interest is clearly served by having this information, and the FCC’s lack of transparency on this issue appears to serve the regulated industries instead.
 

Featured Research
  • Go Mobile and Increase Employee Productivity

    The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) tech trends now allow people to work whenever, wherever, and however they want—mobility makes it happen. more

  • [Infographic] How to Select a Phone System in 10 Steps

    Choosing the perfect phone system for your business is no small task …. Depending on the size of your company, the industry in which you work, and the specific needs your phone system will be required to meet, any number of solutions could get the job done. more

  • 2017 Business VoIP Cost Guide

    Reducing expenses is one of the main reasons that businesses switch from traditional office phone systems to VoIP technology. But many people rush this decision and end up spending more than they need to. The costs of implementing a new VoIP system can increase quickly, especially if you don’t strategically plan for it ahead of time. more

  • How to Improve Call Quality

    Business success is heavily dependent upon its employees’ ability to communicate. Luckily, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology gives companies a communicative advantage. more

  • IP Phone System Providers Comparison Guide

    To help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we compiled a list of over 40 IP phone vendors. In one, easy-to-reference location, we’ve neatly outlined the information you need. more

Related Articles