AT&T opposes "unrestricted" wireless networks

AT&T has officially weighed in on the raucous net neutrality debate by voicing its opposition to “unrestricted” wireless network access.

According to AT&T VP Joan Marsh, wireless carriers must be allowed to dynamically manage traffic and operate their networks in an environment free from “burdensome, arbitrary and unnecessary” regulations.

“Data traffic on wireless networks continues to explode…With 90,000 terabytes of traffic per month [expected to] mushroom to 3,600,000 TBs/month by 2014…Pitted against this insatiable demand are wireless networks of finite and shared resources.

“[Yes], policymakers can help by reallocating more spectrum and, even more importantly, by protecting wireless broadband networks from onerous new net neutrality regulation – [which is] vital to the continued growth of the industry.” 

However, Marsh noted that wireless networks were simple incapable of providing the same capacity as their wireline counterparts. 

“Fiber is to a wireline network what spectrum is to a wireless network, and as a transmission medium, the two simply do not compare. [Still], we are constantly striving to increase the efficiency of our spectrum resources, but the amount of available spectrum in any given market is finite.

“And while we regularly split cell sectors and add additional cell towers, there are very real limits placed on cell site construction by zoning and local approval boards…[Clearly], there’s no silver bullet.”