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Sprint CEO: AT&T, Verizon too powerful

We have this strange relationship with Sprint. Some things they do piss us off to no end. However, they’re the relative underdog in the telecommunications race, which mitigates them a bit. Plus, they’re working to roll out a nationwide Wi-Max network, as well as femtocell technology for home calling. Plus, after all we’ve read of AT&T and Verizon over the past few months, we’re beginning to think that Sprint isn’t as big and greedy as its competitors (though they certainly are big and greedy to some degree). So we’re now happy to report that Gary Forsee, Sprint’s CEO, is finally bringing to the forefront something we’ve known for months (years, really): Verizon and AT&T have far too large a market share.

The issue, according to Forsee, is the the “special access market,” which means wholesale bandwidth leased among companies for the purposes of roaming. No one network covers the entire nation, so in areas where a particular company doesn’t have coverage, it leases airwaves from companies that do. Problem is, there is no regulation on the prices that Verizon and AT&T can set.

Forsee wants to see the FCC and Congress step in to make the market a fairer place:

“The FCC has the tools, the evidentiary record and the Congressionally mandated obligation to ensure that special access prices are just and reasonable,” Forsee said. “I urge this subcommittee to let the FCC know that it must meet its obligation by reducing special access rates to reasonable levels.”

Of course, both Verizon and AT&T see nothing wrong with the special access market. That’s usually how it goes, though: The people who have power don’t see anything wrong with a system, because to change it would be to reduce their power. Does that not disgust you?

So kudos to Sprint for standing up to Verizon and AT&T. And shame on AT&T and Verizon for trying to create a duopoly. Because if that wasn’t clear before, it’s certainly clear now.

[eWeek]