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Stars Align for Seamless Broadband Access as AT&T buys DirecTV and FCC Revisits Net Neutrality Rules.

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Report Summary:

AT&Ts acquisition of DirecTV for a total valuation of just over $67 billion comes only four days after the FCC announced possible new rules for Broadband internet access. AT&T's goal for this acquisition appears to be partly in response to the Comcast/Time Warner merger that would create an extraordinary combination of cable broadband access and content ownership. AT&T appears to be following an 'if you can't beat them join them' strategy to become a "Content Distribution Leader", a focus that was also exemplified by its April 22nd. investment in content with the Chernin Group. The DirecTV acquisition will give AT&T scale, cash flow from premium customers, an expanded nationwide footprint and additional Over-the-Top (OTT) Video and TV delivery mechanisms for multi-screen service bundles as well as significantly increased bargaining power with content originators.

Meanwhile the FCC, who has lost twice in court on 'Net Neutrality' for Broadband Access, is now proposing rules that would not only lead to common regulation of all fixed and wireless broadband access but would also enable differentiated prices for Differentiated Broadband Services including OTT Video and TV on the Internet, while preventing 'Blocking' i.e. ensuring internet equivalent of telecomms equal access. These new rules are likely to bring traditional telecomms Title II. requirements to Cable and Mobile Service providers alongside fixed Telcos and bring all Broadband Internet Access providers under common rules.

FCC, Cable and Telco providers (and the Stars) are all aligned for different reasons to create Seamless Broadband services across wired - cable and telco - and wireless - satellite and mobile - networks.

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