AT&T blasts T-Mobile over backhaul claims

A backhaul dust-up between AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA boiled over in a blog post by AT&T's Frank Simone that sought to tie the dispute to the holiday movie "Miracle on 34th Street."

Simone, AT&T's assistant vice president of federal regulatory, reiterated AT&T's position that the market for special access services--lines that are used for wireless backhaul--is competitive. He wrote that those who disagree with AT&T--entities including T-Mobile and others that are members of the NoChokePoints coalition--have sought to discredit AT&T's claims "by characterizing them like Kris Kringle's in the holiday movie favorite Miracle on 34th Street, as the ramblings of an insane old man who should be institutionalized."

However, Simone said recent statements by T-Mobile show the market for special access services is competitive. Citing a FierceWireless article, Simone pointed to comments earlier this month by Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile USA, who said that the operator now uses 14 different backhaul providers, including local exchange carriers, Ethernet wireless providers and cable companies.

"Now, if the market for these services was truly as non-competitive as the NoChokePoints coalition says it is, then the coalition, like the prosecutor attempting to prove Kris Kringle is not Santa Claus, might find it impossible to believe that the carrier here would have as many options as it has and likely will continue to have in the future," Simone wrote.

A T-Mobile representative did not respond to requests for comment on Simone's post.

The NoChokePoints coalition, which counts T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and others as members, argues that high-capacity, special access broadband lines--those used by wireless carriers for backhaul--are largely controlled by AT&T and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and that AT&T and Verizon charge exorbitant rates for access. The NoChokePoints coalition is urging the government to intervene. AT&T and Verizon, meanwhile, argue against the claims, and contend there is enough competition in the market that it does not need government oversight.

For more:
- see this AT&T post

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