back to article Crown Castle blows $4.85 BEEELLION for rights to AT&T's cell towers

Wireless infraco Crown Castle International has bought 600 cell mast sites from AT&T and secured leases on 9,100 more for $4.85bn in cash. Crown Castle, which has been borrowing cash to buy up cellular infrastructure across America, will stump up the lump sum in exchange for outright ownership of the 600 sites, and exclusive use …

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly why the Telco's should not be allowed to own the infrastructure

This is a good example why all telco infrastructure should be owned by the government, not the telco's.

Crown Castle will simply keep increasing the rates they charge the Telco's who will simply pay them and charge their customers even more. The telcos can write off the entire expense because it is leased infrastructure. When the facilities are no longer beneficial, Crown will go belly up and abandon them.

Everyone but the consumer wins.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Exactly why the Telco's should not be allowed to own the infrastructure

Au contraire, this is a good example why all telco infrastructure should Not be owned by the government.

If, as you suggest, there's a disruptive change that renders that infrastructure worthless then it'll be Crown and its shareholders who take the hit, not taxpayers ..

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Pirate

Re: Exactly why the Telco's should not be allowed to own the infrastructure

"If, as you suggest, there's a disruptive change that renders that infrastructure worthless then it'll be Crown and its shareholders who take the hit, not taxpayers .."

Missed the whole Wall St. bailout thing, did you?

The OP is exactly right. This will be nothing but legal extortion and the "disruptive change" will be outlawed.

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Seems like a sweet deal. Get some land and have the seller pay for it.

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"This is a good example why all telco infrastructure should be owned by the government, not the telco's."

No it's not. In areas where gov't owns and operates these sites, they are simply not built, and coverage is terrible.

Also, realize that in the first 10 years, AT&T is only paying back about 1/2 of what Crown Castle paid AT&T to begin with so this isn't some factor driving up prices. AT&T chose to sell off assets and then lease them back as a way to raise quick cash. If prices become too high, the carriers can and do just build a different site and use that instead, and the owner of the existing site either lowers rates or lose all their customers.

Would you argue that the government should own all buildings? Because corporations here can and do sell off their own office buildings, then lease it to themselves, as a way to raise some short term capital too.

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Anonymous Coward

And when it happens this side of the pond, people die. Think Southern Cross.

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Anonymous Coward

You missed the real point

You never figured out the phone line fiasco have you? The fucking telco's have abandoned all hardwired lines even though they are required by law to maintain them.

Leasebacks are accounting bullshit created by scumbags lawyers and accountants for the sole purpose of screwing the consumer.

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