Updated: Time Warner Cable CEO Britt Says No To 700 MHz Auction

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) Cable will not participate in the 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction. Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt just told CNBC during an interview from the UBS Annual Global Media & Communications Conference… he also dismissed efforts by CNBC’s Dennis Kneale to link the decision to spin-off questions about the company. Britt is presenting at the conference shortly and we’ll let you know if he explains the decision. Applications for the FCC auction are due today.

Update Joseph adds from UBS: At the conference, Britt explained that there’s no great demand for a quadruple play coming from cable, which is the basic reason TWC will not be participating in the 700 MHz auction. He did offer that the company has a hedge: “We have a relationship with Sprint (NYSE: S) in case I’m wrong.” But a future wireless investment from the company isn’t entirely out of the question. While it’s not particularly interested in wireless voice or SMS at this point, it’s exploring things like machine-to-machine communications (e.g. a home medical device communicating with a health care provider). Cable as wireless backhaul is another interesting area. These are the kinds of things they’re studying, but there are no immediate plans for an investment. If the company does make a wireless investment at some point, it could come as part of a consortium, but not necessarily.

Second Update: Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) has also confirmed that it will not be participating in the auction: “Comcast Corporation has decided not to bid in the 700 MHz wireless auction. The 20 MHz of spectrum acquired in the wireless auction last year with our cable partners in SpectrumCo provides us with significant long-term flexibility and many strategic options. We will continue to explore how wireless can complement our services through various partnerships and consumer trials.” Comcast will be presenting at the conference on Wednesday, so expect a fuller discussion of the company’s decision at that time. Release.