Sprint Nextel and AT&T have taken their dispute over access fees for one another’s voice networks all the way to the FCC.
Sprint and AT&T currrently have an agreement wherein two Sprint Nextel subsidiaries have a “bill and keep” deal, meaning that the carriers have agreed not to charge each other for traffic on each other’s networks.Â Sprint has said that they wish to apply a government condition that AT&T accepted in 2006 in order to expand their zero-fee coverage all the way into 22 states — an arrangement that would potentially cost AT&T millions of dollars in revenue each year. AT&T’s response has been to claim that Sprint misinterpreted the clause, and they have followed up by complaining directly to the FCC in hopes of coming out on top.
Sprint has stated that they could be investing money saved from the outcome of this dispute into improving their network and in making enhancements to its often-criticized customer service. Impartial observers frustrated with Sprint’s customer service might find themselves suddenly taking a side in this carrier dispute, if only out of hopes that the latter issue will actually be addressed.
Independent telecom analyst Jessica Zufolo has noted that the case holds major financial implications for both companies, as Sprint has found themselves in a tighter situation since the Nextel acquisition. Zufolo has also pointed out that it is unsure which way the ruling on this will go.
Source: Yahoo! Finance