AT&T seeks more spectrum, protection from new neutrality regulations

in Blog, AT&T, Google, Verizon, LTE

AT&T wants more spectrum for Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) to meet increasing data traffic demand  according to a blog by Joan Marsh, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory. In addition, AT&T is also asking policymakers to protect wireless broadband networks from onerous new net neutrality regulations. (see blog Wireless is Different)

AT&T says that the 90,000 terabytes of traffic per month that was carried on wireless networks in 2009 will mushroom to 3,600,000 TBs/month by 2014.

Arguing that Wireless networks simply cannot provide the same amount of capacity as wireline networks (i.e., DSL and cable), AT&T compares Fiber & LTE. The theoretical top speed of a LTE carrier is 100 Mbps.  By contrast, theoretical transmission speeds on fiber can reach as high as 25,000,000 Mbps.

Defending its position AT&T says, we are constantly striving to increase the efficiency of our spectrum resources, but the amount of available spectrum in any given market is finite.

This blog has its root in Verizon-Google net neutrality announcement earlier this week. See Joint Policy Proposal for an Open Internet for details.

According to Internet policy proposal, It would create enforceable transparency rules, for both wireline and wireless services. Broadband providers would be required to give consumers clear, understandable information about the services they offer and their capabilities. Broadband providers would also provide to application and content providers information about network management practices and any other information they need to ensure that they can reach consumers.

On wireless however, Verizon-Google both recognize that wireless broadband is different from the traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly. In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the transparency requirement. In addition, the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the wireless broadband marketplace, and whether or not current policies are working to protect consumers. 


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