James F. Booth

For more than 25 years, James Booth has provided consulting and legal services to telecommunications carriers and to enterprise companies that manage their own telecommunications networks. Since June of 2009 he has also served as General Counsel of Spread Networks, LLC, which is the industry leader in the construction and operation of low latency high speed networks. Before joining Spread he was General Counsel for OnFiber Communications, a competitive telecommunications provider, and was the sole attorney for Qwest Communications International in support of its construction of an 18,800 mile fiber optic network spanning the United States. Earlier he was lead counsel for U S WEST in its wireless and cable television ventures in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bidding Rules Becoming Clearer for Upcoming Airwaves Auction

Federal officials plan to reserve up to a third of licenses sold in a TV airwaves auction next year for smaller wireless carriers under a plan floated recently by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Overall, the plan has something for most wireless carriers to both love and hate. While it allows all wireless carriers to bid for airwaves in an effort to drive up revenues from the sale, the plan also potentially sets aside licenses for smaller carriers. And it creates a new standard for how many licenses a wireless company can hold, which could make it easier for Verizon Wireless and AT&T to acquire more airwaves in the future, but hurt Sprint’s ability to do the same.
The proposal represents an effort by Wheeler’s aides to meet two broad, conflicting goals of the auction: Raise as much money as possible (by selling licenses to wireless giants AT&T and Verizon) while increasing competition in the wireless market (by selling licenses to smaller carriers who need more prime airwaves to compete for subscribers).