FCC extends review period for Verizon's AWS spectrum dealAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
The saga of Verizon's proposed AWS spectrum from a handful of cable companies continues today. The FCC has revealed that it's extended its informal 180-day period to review the deal by a full 21 days, which is the result of Verizon and the cable group's inability to turn documents in to the FCC by a deadline put in place by the agency. Verizon and the cable companies were supposed to provide the FCC's requested materials by March 22nd, but the FCC says that no documents were turned in by that date, with Verizon handing in its paperwork at various points in April and both Cox and Bright House Networks turning in the majority of their docs in late April. The FCC says that it doesn't expect any other delays so long as the documents it's received all adequately meet its requests.
We first learned of Verizon's plans to buy spectrum from the likes of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox back in December. Since then the deal has been met with a bit of resistance from Sprint and T-Mobile, and even the Department of Justice said that it'd be keeping a close eye on the deal. Verizon has said that it'll sell some of its 700MHz spectrum if its AWS spectrum purchase is given the green light, but T-Mobile doesn't think that that sale is enough, arguing that the sale doesn't do enough to offset the potential negative effects that could come from the deal's approval. It's not yet clear how the FCC might be leaning when it comes to whether or not it'll approve Verizon's spectrum purchase, but the situation is definitely something we'll be paying close attention to. Stay tuned.