Tom Wheeler releases order to FCC Commissioners for approval of AT&T-DirecTV merger

Tom Wheeler releases order to FCC Commissioners for approval of AT&T-DirecTV merger

In an order released to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioners on Tuesday, the agency’s Chairman Tom Wheeler has recommended the approval of AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, though under the Net Neutrality conditions.

AT&T had proposed a $48 billion merger of DirecTV in May 2014; and had promised to comply with the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations which had been struck down by a federal court. The FCC introduced new rules this year.

With the AT&T-DirecTV merger deal requiring the approval of Wheeler and four FCC Commissioners, Wheeler said in the order recommending the approval of the deal: “The proposed order outlines a number of conditions that will directly benefit consumers by bringing more competition in the broadband marketplace.”

Wheeler said that if the FCC Commissioners approve the conditions for the AT&T-DirecTV merger, a competitive high-speed fiber connection will become accessible at nearly 12.5 million customer locations.

Wheeler further explained in a statement that the “additional build-out is about 10 times the size of AT&T’s current fiber-to-the-premise deployment,” and added that the additional build-out would increase the country’s residential fiber build by over 40 percent, and would more than triple the number of metropolitan areas which AT&T has announced plans to serve.

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