Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:09am
WILL AT&T BECOME MA VIDEO?
[SOURCE: Light Reading, AUTHOR: Phil Harvey]
[Commentary] With cable franchises, content buying power, and a wireless powerhouse, AT&T will significantly add to its video services potential with its $67 billion bid to buy BellSouth. First, consider a pile of local video franchises. For years, BellSouth has been installing fiber to the curb, and, in a limited way, it became a residential TV provider in the late 90s for certain areas of metropolitan Atlanta and Miami. According to Federal Communications Commission data, "BellSouth holds 20 cable franchises with the potential to pass 1.4 million homes and provides cable service to approximately 40,000 customers in 14 of its franchise areas." So, if it wants to, AT&T has at least pre-existing permission from local authorities to offer video services in several spots within Georgia and Florida, which could come in handy if it wants to accelerate Lightspeed's deployment. And, in addition to some local video franchises, BellSouth gives AT&T another weapon in its video arsenal -- the ability to bring a bigger potential audience to content providers. With its IPTV service and any mobile TV services offered to Cingular Wireless's 54 million customers, the combined carrier can make a true mass market pitch. And don't think that AT&T will stop at its own boundaries -- or limit its video offerings to consumers. Without stating specifics, the company's executives this week have dropped hints that they'll eventually go well beyond their access lines. All they need to do is figure out how to offer a DSL-like connection cheaply enough, and without a wire.
WILL BIGGER AT&T SPUR BROADBAND TV PRICE WAR?
[SOURCE: C-Net|News.com, AUTHOR: Marguerite Reardon]
The proposed $67 billion merger between AT&T and BellSouth could help ignite a pricing war between telephone companies and cable operators, but experts say that price cuts, if they happen at all, are a long way off.
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