FCC Denies RWA Petition to Block AT&T Purchase of Aloha AWS-1 Spectrum

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has issued an Order denying a petition filed by the Rural Wireless Association, Inc. (RWA) which sought to block a proposed sale of AWS-1 spectrum from Aloha Partners II, L.P. (Aloha) to AT&T Mobile Spectrum LLC (AT&T), or in the alternative, postpone the Commission’s review of the transaction until such time as the FCC had released an order in the Mobile Spectrum Holdings proceeding, WT Docket No. 12- 269.  On January 7, 2014, AT&T and Aloha filed an application seeking Commission consent to assign the subject licenses from Aloha to AT&T.  Specifically, AT&T is seeking to purchase between 10 and 20 megahertz of AWS-1 licenses in 280 counties in 19 states.  In its petition, RWA raised general concerns that the proposed transaction would contribute to excessive spectrum aggregation on the part of AT&T.  The Commission determined that there were no “specific facts or evidence to support a finding that the transaction is likely to cause competitive or public interest harms.”  Furthermore, the Commission noted that it also adopted its Mobile Spectrum Holdings Report and Order on May 15, 2014 and released it on June 2, 2014.  Because of these determinations, the petition was denied.

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