Cable, satellite TV companies build business plans on fear and ignorance

30 April 2020 by Steve Blum
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The future, if you want to call it that, of traditional, linear subscription television services will depend on customers who don’t understand, and consequently fear, online video services. Martin Peers, a reporter for The Information, looked at his mother-in-law’s Comcast bill and discovered a stack of add on fees and increasing monthly rates for services that can be had for less money via over-the-top video platforms.

The reason she’s writing unnecessarily high checks each month?… More

T-Mobile might have to live up to its own hype to gain California’s approval for Sprint deal

9 March 2020 by Steve Blum
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Tmobile 5g small towns 6jan2020

While the California Public Utilities Commission drafts its decision on whether to allow the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, any outsider’s opinion on what the verdict will be is pure speculation.

So I’ll speculate.

If the CPUC follows past practice, it will allow the merger to go ahead but will impose requirements that T-Mobile will have to meet in the coming years. Those conditions might end up being the “voluntary commitments” and other plans that T-Mobile has presented to the CPUC without formally and enforceably promising to fulfil them.… More

T-Mobile’s request to speed up California review of Sprint deal rejected by CPUC

6 March 2020 by Steve Blum
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Without waiting for responses from opponents, administrative law judge Karl Bemesderfer denied motions made by T-Mobile and Sprint in an attempt to speed up the California Public Utilities Commission’s review of their proposed merger yesterday. His decision was short and to the point…

After considering the motions I have determined that all of them should be denied.

No reason was given, but on the other hand T-Mobile (and junior partner Sprint) didn’t offer any new facts or arguments in making the requests.… More

T-Mobile preps to bypass CPUC, close Sprint deal before California review complete

5 March 2020 by Steve Blum
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Tmobile billboard las vegas 6jan2020

A stack of motions from T-Mobile (and Sprint, but it’s T-Mobile leading the parade) landed at the California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday. On the face of it, the four filings (links below) ask the CPUC to wrap up its review of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger in time for the deal to close on 1 April 2020. As it stands, the CPUC is running on a schedule that has a final vote set for 16 April 2020, following publication of a proposed decision by 13 March 2020.… More

California approval of T-Mobile/Sprint deal could hinge on what Becerra, DISH tell CPUC

26 February 2020 by Steve Blum
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Responses from two key third party players – California attorney general Xavier Becerra and DISH – look like the final, and decisive, pieces of the puzzle as the California Public Utilities Commission wraps up its review of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Both responses should address the impact the deal will have on the mobile broadband marketplace in California.

Because of confidentiality practices, it’s likely that we won’t know what Becerra and DISH have to say until a proposed decision is posted by Karl Bemesderfer, the CPUC administrative law judge managing the case.… More

DISH ordered to answer detailed questions about California plans as CPUC extends review of T-Mobile/Sprint merger

5 February 2020 by Steve Blum
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Dish ces press conference 2012

DISH must provide detailed information about its plans for infrastructure, service and employees in California, before the California Public Utilities Commission moves ahead with its review of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger. The administrative law judge managing the case, Karl Bemesderfer, ordered DISH to “immediately provide substantive responses” to questions posed by the CPUC’s public advocates office (PAO). Links to the questions are below.

Bemesderfer’s order overruled DISH’s objections and the limitations it wants to put on the information it delivers.… More

DISH can’t and won’t be a competitor in California’s mobile marketplace, T-Mobile/Sprint merger opponents say

24 December 2019 by Steve Blum
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Dish kangaroos ces 5jan2015

T-Mobile wants to set up DISH as a new mobile network competitor, to ease anti-trust problems with its proposed merger with Sprint. The California Public Utilities Commission has to decide whether or not that’s a credible ambition. Initial briefs in what should be the closing round of arguments in the CPUC’s merger review were filed on Friday (links below). With DISH declining to say much on its own behalf, T-Mobile (and Sprint, but it’s the junior partner in this game) had to to make the case.… More

T-Mobile hypes California benefits of Sprint merger, defends DISH in CPUC filing

23 December 2019 by Steve Blum
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Tmobile sf civic plaza 5dec2019

Arguments for and against the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger were filed at the California Public Utilities Commission on Friday (links are below), which was also the last day of testimony in the federal anti-trust trial launched by California’s attorney general and others opposed to the deal. Closing court arguments are scheduled for 15 January 2020. The CPUC’s review will run at least into February, and possibly longer.

T-Mobile and Sprint (but it’s T-Mobile running the show) said, as they have all along, that the deal will produce nothing but wonderfulness for California, and adding DISH to the mix just makes it super awesome.… More

DISH might build out 5G in rural California, but don’t bet the ranch

9 December 2019 by Steve Blum
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Dish neponset

DISH won’t have to build its own 5G network everywhere in California, or even in every county, if the T-Mobile/Sprint merger is approved. Jeff Blum, DISH’s chief Washington, D.C. staff lobbyist, testified at a California Public Utilities Commission hearing on Friday. He ducked and dodged questions about DISH’s exact intentions for the California assets and people that T-Mobile would spin off, under an antitrust settlement reached with the federal justice department, saying plans were still being made, data was still being analysed, decisions were in the hands of other companies and, well, so on.… More

Approval of T-Mobile/Sprint deal could depend on DISH’s testimony at CPUC hearing

4 December 2019 by Steve Blum
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Tmobile san francisco 18may2019

Executives from T-Mobile, Sprint and, particularly, DISH will be cross examined tomorrow morning, as two days of hearings kick off at the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. Witnesses from the CPUC’s public advocates office will also be on the stand. They’ll all have to explain written testimony they submitted about the wonderfulness, or lack thereof, of T-Mobile’s proposed takeover of Sprint, and asset and people spinoff to DISH.

It’s DISH’s intended role as a new, nationwide mobile telecoms competitor that’s likely to get the sharpest attention.… More