FCC Releases AT&T's Proposed Modifications - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Releases AT&T's Proposed Modifications

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The FCC late Friday released proposed AT&T modifications to its merger with BellSouth for public perusal.

The Commission will give interested parties 10 days to comment on the proposal, then attempt to vote on the merger Nov. 3.

AT&T said that, in order to speed the process, it was willing to accept some conditions, including promises of Internet Access to 100% of homes in AT&T/BellSouth territory by the end of next year; donating $1 million to promote public safety; and conducting at least 10 wireless broadband tests, and numerous other phone-related conditions.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had hoped to approve the deal by Oct. 20, when the FCC's self-imposed 180-day shot clock on mergers expires. The Justice Department had done its part by concluding its review of the merger Oct. 11, citing the FCC's scheduled vote.

But FCC Democrats blocked the move and, acceding to their wishes, Martin delayed the vote and agreed to put the AT&T proposal out for public comment.

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