Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FCC Eyes Residential Fiber Build-out as Condition for AT&T/DirecTV Deal

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a draft recommendation to his fellow FCC commissioners recommending that the AT&T/DirecTV transaction be approved with conditions concerning future fiber rollouts by AT&T. Namely, Wheeler would like 12.5 million customer locations to have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection -- an additional build-out that is about 10 times the size of AT&T’s current fiber-to-the-premise deployment.

In a press statement, Wheeler also wrote that "the conditions will build on the Open Internet Order already in effect, addressing two merger-specific issues. First, in order to prevent discrimination against online video competition, AT&T will not be permitted to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections. Second, in order to bring greater transparency to interconnection practices, the company will be required to submit all completed interconnection agreements to the Commission, along with regular reports on network performance. Importantly, we will require an independent officer to help ensure compliance with these and other proposed conditions. These strong measures will protect consumers, expand high-speed broadband availability, and increase competition.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-wheeler-recommendation-concerning-attdirectv-transaction

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