When Verizon and four cable companies announced their spectrum and cross-marketing deals, unions and public interest groups called for regulators to stop or drastically modify the deal. The deal threatens to reduce competition, consumer choice, kill jobs, and raise prices for consumers. Its fate is still uncertain.
But attempting to address concerns about the spectrum purchase, Verizon yesterday offered to sell and trade spectrum rights with T-Mobile.
For financially wobbly T-Mobile, the deal looks enticing, although neither T-Mobile nor Verizon have released the costs. “T-Mobile said the Verizon deal encompasses spectrum in 218 areas, and would improve its spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets in the U.S., notably Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit and Seattle,” said the AP.
CWA immediately noted that the spectrum sale does not address fundamental problems. CWA telecommunications policy director Debbie Goldman said, “The threat of job loss and higher consumer prices from the proposed Verizon Wireless-Big Cable deal remains, even if today's announcement resolves some of the FCC's concerns about one piece of the agreement.”
For many workers, the deal threatens to erode wages and job security. According to CWA, “Verizon has cut 14,750 jobs of frontline wireline workers in the eight states and Washington D.C. in its East Cost landline footprint since 2010, and the proposed deal would cost more jobs as the company loses the incentive to expand its FiOS service to new areas.”
T-Mobile, Verizon agree on wireless sale (USAToday, Jun. 25, 2012)
Big problems with Verizon Wireless-Big Cable deal remain (news release, Jun. 25, 2012)
Why the Verizon and T-Mobile spectrum deal could still fall apart (CNet, Jun. 25, 2012)