AT&T to Offer Low-Cost Broadband After DirecTV Merger

WASHINGTON -- As it continues to work toward Federal Communications Commission approval of its proposed DirecTV merger, AT&T has told the agency it will offer standalone broadband service to low-income households for up to four years at prices as low as $5 per month.

That's according to an FCC filing on a meeting between FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn and AT&T D.C. execs Jim Cicconi and Bob Quinn.

Clyburn has said the combined companies should offer an affordable broadband service to low-income households as part of their deal.

The AT&T execs promised that where AT&T speeds currently exceed 3 Mbps, it would offer wireline DSL service up to 5 Mbps for $10 for the first 12 months, increasing to $20 per month for the next three years.

Where it offers "top speeds" below 5 Mbps, AT&T will offer a wireline DSL service of 1.5 Mbps for $5 per month for the first 12 months and $10 per month for the next three years.

"The Commission should promptly approve the transaction so that consumers can begin to enjoy the resulting pro-competitive, public interest benefits," said AT&T counsel Peter Schildkraut in the ex parte letter describing the meeting with Clyburn. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.