AT&T: Broadcast/Wireless Band Plan Is Consumer Friendly

In Blog Post, Exec Pitches Proposal, Citing Support From Commissioner Pai

AT&T Wednesday made a pitch for the consumer-friendliness of the "Down from 51" band plan supported by broadcasters and major wireless companies -- with the exception of Sprint.

In a blog posting, Bob Quinn, AT&T's senior VP of federal regulatory and chief privacy officer, said the company rejects the argument made by the plan's critics that "consumers are not represented" in their position. 

That position is that the FCC band plan, which interleaves broadcast and wireless licensees, leaves too much opportunity for interference between the services -- the FCC says its plan will allow for more flexibility.

The FCC released its proposal last October, drawing criticism from both broadcasters and wireless companies for its intermixing of spectrum holders and potential assignment of the same channels to broadcasters and wireless licensees in different markets. The National Association of Broadcasters, Verizon and AT&T teamed up to provide an alternative plan.

Pointing to FCC commissioner Ajit Pai's support for their position, Quinn said Pai based that on engineering considerations and "a careful review of the record."

AT&T, Verizon and broadcasters alternative plan is also supported by Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericcson, and Intel, Quinn pointed out. "Even setting aside the millions of consumers served by the carriers that support this approach, there is not a wireless consumer in the United States that does not benefit everyday from the engineering excellence at Alcatel-Lucent, Ericcson, Intel and Qualcomm," he said.