BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless today took aim at a proposal from Nextel being actively considered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would, if adopted, result in a give-away worth $7.2 billion as appraised by Kane Reece Associates, Inc. The Nextel plan addresses a wireless communications interference problem for public safety officials around the nation, caused by Nextel, and which would give one private company Nextel a multi-billion dollar windfall. Verizon Wireless said that public safety's interference problem could be fully addressed without the give-away to Nextel.
Verizon Wireless vice president for business development Molly Feldman met with FCC staff in February to discuss the Nextel spectrum grab. In a follow-up letter to the Commission today, she wrote, "Nextel's proposed plan would give Nextel, for free, 10 MHz of nationwide spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band and deny the American public the benefits that would result from auctioning that spectrum."
Feldman underscored that Verizon Wireless fully supports the efforts of the public safety community to resolve interference caused by some wireless service providers, noting that there are significantly less complicated and costly ways to resolve this problem.
In response to an inquiry from the FCC about how much Verizon Wireless would pay for the spectrum the FCC is considering handing over to Nextel, Feldman noted, "Verizon Wireless is ready, willing and able to participate in an immediate auction of the 1.9 GHz spectrum." Feldman continued, "As Congress and the Commission have said many times, spectrum auctions represent the best way of ensuring that spectrum is put to its highest and best use, and that the Government and the American public realize the full benefits from licensing spectrum. The only way the Government can obtain the fair market value of that spectrum is to auction it. There is absolutely no justification for squandering such a valuable asset by giving it away to Nextel or anyone else through a 'private sale.' We therefore urge that you immediately take the steps necessary to make the 1.9 GHz spectrum available for auction."
The management consulting firm Kane Reece Associates, Inc., performed the spectrum valuation assessment sponsored by Verizon Wireless. The Kane Reece study is the only valuation appraisal being considered by the FCC that is consistent with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 37.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com.####