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

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 teamedup 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."

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.