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AT&T and DirecTV merger approved by FCC, completed

by Jacob Kleinman | July 24, 2015July 24, 2015 1:00 pm PDT

direct-tv

AT&T’s plan to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion with cash and stock was approved by the FCC and completed by AT&T on Friday, the company confirmed.

In return for the right to acquire DirecTV, AT&T will have to build out its fiber optic network to reach at least 12.5 million people within the next four years. The company will also be required to offer 1Gbps Internet to qualifying schools and libraries within its fiber footprint along with discounted broadband for low income households.

Here’s a look at the other conditions AT&T needs to meet, including those:

  • Within 4 years, AT&T will offer its all-fiber Internet access service to at least 12.5 million customer locations, such as residences, home offices and very small businesses.  Combined with AT&T’s existing high-speed broadband network, at least 25.7 million customer locations will have access to broadband speeds of 45Mbps or higher.
  • Within its wireline footprint, the company will offer 1Gbps service to any eligible school or library requesting E-rate services, pursuant to applicable rules, within the company’s all-fiber footprint.
  • Within AT&T’s 21-state wireline footprint, it will offer discounted fixed broadband service to low-income households that qualify for the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In locations where it’s available, service with speeds of at least
    10Mbps will be offered for $10 per month. Elsewhere, 5Mbps service will be offered for $10 per month or, in some locations, 3Mbps service will be offered for $5 per month.
  • AT&T’s retail terms and conditions for its fixed broadband Internet services will not favor its own online video programming services. AT&T can and will, however, continue to offer discounted integrated bundles of its video and high-speed Internet services.
  • AT&T must submit to the FCC new interconnection agreements it enters into with peering networks and on-net customers for the exchange of Internet traffic. The company will develop, in conjunction with an independent expert, a methodology for measuring the performance of its Internet traffic exchange and regularly report these metrics to the FCC.
  • AT&T will appoint a Company Compliance Officer to develop and implement a plan to ensure compliance with these merger conditions. Also, the company will engage an independent, third-party compliance officer to evaluate the plan and its implementation, and submit periodic reports to the FCC.

“The conditions imposed by the commission address potential harms presented by the combination of AT&T, one of the nation’s largest telephone and Internet service providers, and DIRECTV, the nation’s largest satellite video provider,” the FCC said.

AT&T is now the largest provider of TV services in the world, and the U.S., and said it will provide service to more than 26 million customers and an additional 19 million in Latin America.

“Current customers of AT&T and Direct TV do not need to do anything as a result of the merger,” AT&T explained. “They’ll continue to receive their same services, channel lineups, and customer care. Customer account information, online access and billing arrangements remain the same. The integration of AT&T and DIRECTV will occur over the coming months.”

AT&T said new integrated TV, Internet and mobile services will be launched in the coming weeks.

AT&T

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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