Cable One Poised To Sell AWS Spectrum To AT&T

FCC Vetting Proposed Transaction
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Cable One is looking to sell a swath of Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) to AT&T as the wireless operator seeks more capacity to flesh out its growing 4G/LTE network.

Under the proposed deal, highlighted in an FCC notice posted on Thursday (February 6), Cable One would sell a block of 20 MHz of AWS-1 spectrum to AT&T covering 119 counties in 24 cellular market areas in various states. Financial terms were not disclosed, but once the deal is sealed, AT&T would hold 63 MHz to 153 MHz of spectrum in the CMAs involved in the transaction, including 20 MHz to 50 MHz of AWS-1 spectrum.

The cable op and AT&T assert that the deal would help AT&T boost system capacity for its existing services and facilitate growth and new products.

The FCC, which is vetting the deal, said petitions to deny are due February 20, oppositions are due March 3, and has set a replies deadline of March 10.

If the sale goes through, Cable One would follow a string of other MSOs that have sold their AWS spectrum to mobile operators.

Comcast, Bright House Networks, Time Warner Cable and Cox have all sold their respective AWS spectrum to Verizon Wireless for almost $4 billion. As part of the multi-faceted transaction, those cable operators and Verizon Wireless are now reselling each other's products.

However, a cable/wireless innovation joint venture that was linked to the original deals between Verizon Wireless, Comcast, TWC, and Bright House struck  in December 2011 has since been terminated.