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Congress

Verizon Submits Cox Spectrum Deal Bid

December 19, 2011

Verizon Wireless submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission on Monday to get permission to buy $3.6 billion in spectrum from billion from SpectrumCo, LLC, jointly owned by cable companies Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Comcast. Verizon said the purchases would benefit customers by making networks more robust.

Verizon said earlier this month that it was buying 122 Advanced Wireless Services licenses covering 259 million POPs from the cable providers. It also said the government does not need to review its marketing agreement with the cable companies - something that worries advocacy groups.

"No matter how forcefully Verizon claims that this is 'a spectrum-only transaction,' it is much more than that," Andrew Schwartzman of the Media Access Project said in a statement. "The FCC's mandate is to look at the totality of the circumstances to decide if a proposed transfer is in the public interest."

Verizon announced a smaller deal on Friday, saying it would buy 20 MHz of spectrum from cable provider Cox Communications for $315 million. The stretch of AWS spectrum includes 28 million POPs.

Cox and Verizon also agreed to market one another's residential and commercial products and services.

"Over time, Cox may have the option to sell Verizon Wireless' services on a wholesale basis. In addition, Cox expects to enter into arrangements with the innovation technology joint venture formed by Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services," Verizon said in a statement on Friday.

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