FCC commissioner questions whether Comcast misled regulators

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 When asked about Comcasts recent deal to sell its airwave licenses, or spectrum, to Verizon, Angelakis said, “We never really intended to build that spectrum, so therefore it’s a really good use of that spectrum.”

The FCCs mandate is to promote the “best and highest use” of the airwaves, and the regulators might have not allowed Comcast to acquire the spectrum licenses in the first place if they thought the company did not plan to use them.

“We always said the spectrum had to be financially optimized and strategically optimized, and I think with Verizon we were able to do that,” Angelakis said.

Comcast, along with other cable companies including Time Warner, announced a deal last month to sell $3.6 billion worth of spectrum to Verizon. Wireless companies such as Verizon have struggled in recent years to meet the growing data demands of smartphones and tablet computers.

For several years, Comcast officials have said it would not make economic sense for them to use the spectrum to build their own wireless network.

A Comcast spokeswoman told The Hill that technological innovations such as the explosion of smartphones in the years since the company first bought its spectrum mean that a stand-alone network would not be able to meet consumer demand.

The FCC is now seeking public comments on whether it should approve the spectrum deal. The Justice Department is also probing whether the deal would violate antitrust law.

--Updated at 3:06 p.m.