According to the current FCC draft approval of the
Comcast/NBCU joint venture, Comcast will be required to deliver
stand-alone Internet access for at least three years at a base price of $49.95
and a minimum speed of 6 Mbps downstream.
A source with access to the FCC's draft of its conditional
approval of the Comcast/NBCU deal confirms reports that that is one of the
conditions, but also points out that was one of the original conditions with
which Comcast has said it has no quarrel.
While that is certainly a form of an unbundling condition,
and a temporary price cap, it is one Comcast can apparently live with.
That should not be a surprise because the condition
says Comcast will "continue" to provide that stand-alone service. In
essence the condition "enshrines" what Comcast already does, though
with a speed and price point that one communications lawyer said was unusual to
enshrine in a deal condition. In addition, Comcast will have an opportunity to
petition the FCC to life any condition if it can show that a changed
marketplace warrants it.
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