Wireless industry pushes back on data roaming regulation

In a blog post published in April, AT&T contends that the proposed rule would discourage companies that already own wireless spectrum from developing their resources. Instead, smaller companies would take advantage of "home roaming" at the expense of building out their own networks, according to AT&T.

"The Commission has removed a key incentive for a company to invest in, and build out, long-held spectrum licenses in less-populated, rural areas of the country," writes Bob Quinn, senior vice president for federal regulatory policy. "While we understand why that might be some carriers’ preferred business model, it is not sound regulatory policy."

Quinn also accuses other carriers of focusing on densely populated urban areas while relying on the networks of larger firms like AT&T to roam in less-populated rural areas. He adds that both of the sections of the National Broadband Plan aimed at improving the use of spectrum have actually harmed rather than advanced the cause.

"Let’s face it, if a carrier hasn’t built out its voice network in the last 10 years, the likelihood of that happening now is about as good as the Nats winning the World Series this year," Quinn writes.