FCC questions wireless sector's competitiveness

Wireless carriers and politicians in the US have blasted FCC claims the nation’s wireless market lacks strong competition, claiming the comments are a bid by the regulator to increase its powers.
 
The FCC refused to sign-off on the level of competition in the wireless market for the first time in eight years in an annual competition report released yesterday, claiming consolidation had weakened the market.
 
While it stopped short of calling the market uncompetitive, it said it could not certify it had found “effective competition” in the market.
 
Verizon Wireless strongly disagreed, telling the WSJ that the “US has the most intensely competitive wireless market on the planet, and it's becoming more competitive by the day.”
 
And AT&T’s SVP of policy Robert Quinn said the report appears to be an excuse “to justify more regulation in a market where it is clear beyond doubt that regulation is simply unwarranted,” Reuters reports.
 
Quinn’s views were echoed by Republican commissioner Robert McDowell, who said the report’s findings appear “to lay the foundation for more regulation.”
 
Fellow Republican Meredith Baker said “the data in the Report demonstrate[s] a vibrant competitive environment across the mobile wireless sector.”
 
Their comments hint at a suspicion the FCC is being deliberately awkward, after ISPs and wireless operators disputed the legality of its plans for tougher broadband regulations earlier this month.

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