Verizon defends cable spectrum deal at Senate hearing

Verizon wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Its deal to buy spectrum from several cable companies is different from the failed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.



During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Verizon general counsel Randal Milch made the case that the proposed spectrum deal would not hinder competition in home broadband markets since Verizon and the cable companies would still be competing with each other for wireline subscribers. Milch also said his company has already made several key investments into expanding its current capacity and will need additional spectrum to keep building out its LTE mobile broadband network.

"From Verizon's own perspective data usage has been doubling for each of the last three years," he said. "In some of our markets the spectrum crunch will begin as soon as 2013. The spectrum purchase will allow us in the short term to meet customers' growing needs... Verizon is a good steward of spectrum. We put it to use and we do it more efficiently than any carrier in the United States."

David Cohen, the executive vice president for Comcast, backed up Milch's perspective and said that Verizon would not enter into collusion with cable providers over wireline service since it had already put so much money into building out its FiOS fiber-optic network to go head-to-head with the cable companies.