While Frontline Wireless does not have the lobbying spend of most wireless carriers, the company did make more calls and visits to the FCC between January and August. According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, Google had a total of 19 calls or meetings with FCC officials, 11 of which were with commissioners. The CTIA had 43 calls or visits. Verizon Wireless beat out Google too with 40 conversations with agency officials. Frontline Wireless, however, came out on top with 70 official FCC meetings.
The explanation, of course, is simple: Frontline's vice-chairman Reed Hundt is the former chairman of the FCC. Frontline's chairwoman Janice Obuchowski is a former assistant secretary of commerce in charge of telecommunications policy. In D.C. it's not just how much you can pay, but who you know, apparently.
Frontline had proposed combining the 10 MHz of spectrum reserved for public safety with another 10 MHz of commercial spectrum, which would result in the creation of a shared public-private network. Frontline suggested the winning bidder of this spectrum should have to wholesale the commercial slice of the spectrum. While the FCC adopted some of Frontline's proposed ideas, it did not institute any wholesaling requirements.
For more on Frontline's lobbying frequency:
- read this report from the CPI