AT&T will offer more small businesses access to its all-fiber high speed Internet connection as part of a deal to acquire satellite provider DirecTV.
AT&T recently announced folding DirecTV, a direct broadcast satellite provider of digital television, into its company.
DirecTV will receive 1.892 shares of AT&T stock plus $28.50 in cash per share of company owned DirecTV stock as part of the deal.
But the Federal Communication Commission has issued other conditions for allowing the acquisition to proceed. One is that AT&T must offer access to the company’s all-fiber service to at least 12.5 million customer locations or within it’s footprint. Those include not just residences but also specifically home offices and very small businesses. The company must also offer 1 Gbps service to schools or libraries within it service area should they request it.
AT&T is well known for various telephone services and currently advertises as a cellular telephone network. It also provides pay networks and Internet access.
The telecom is also partially in the business of providing television and Internet, so it only makes sense to expand these capabilities. AT&T has folded in several companies over the years, mostly telephone companies.
Over the years, it has started to build a fiber network of multiple gigs called Gigapower. Acquiring DirecTV will allow the company to provide additional content for devices like smartphones and tablets that use its network.
In a prepared release, Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, says:
“Combining DIRECTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service. “We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen.”
“This transaction allows us to significantly expand our high-speed Internet service to reach millions more households, which is a perfect complement to our coast-to-coast TV and mobile coverage. We’re now a fundamentally different company with a diversified set of capabilities and businesses that set us apart from the competition.”
AT&T has a joint venture with The Chernin Group through its division, Otter Media, through which it plans to launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.It has purchased a majority stake in Fullscreen, an online media company with over 50,000 content creators.
Customers of DirecTV and AT&T don’t have to do anything special as the transition takes place. Eventually, new services and bundles will be offered to all customers. For answers to questions, see FAQs at DirecTV’s website.
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