FCC says yes to Frontier's buy of AT&T's Connecticut wireline footprint
Frontier has promised to offer broadband services with downstream rates of at least 10 Mbps to 100,000 potential customers who currently don’t have access to such services.
Frontier Communications’ (NASDAQ: FTR) planned acquisition of AT&T's local wireline, broadband, and video operations in Connecticut has crossed another regulatory hurdle, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the deal. The approval is the second in a chain of approvals required to close the acquisition. The U.S. Justice Department also has given the buy a green light, so approval from the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is the last major step in the approval process Frontier has yet to climb.
Frontier remains confident that the acquisition, announced last December, will close in the fourth quarter of this year. The company has proposed paying $2 billion in cash to buy Southern New England Telephone and SNET America, Inc. from AT&T.
"We are pleased that the FCC Chairman and Commissioners moved swiftly to support this acquisition, releasing an Order well in advance of the FCC's internal deadline for review of such transactions,” commented Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's chairman and CEO. “We look forward to demonstrating our broadband commitment to our home state of Connecticut, our headquarters since 1946. Soon Connecticut consumers and businesses will benefit from our full complement of products and services and experience firsthand our high-touch local engagement management model and our active involvement in the communities we serve.
Frontier has promised to offer broadband services with downstream rates of at least 10 Mbps to 100,000 potential customers who currently don’t have access to such services. It also expects to upgrade middle-mile network infrastructure in the state.
"We also look forward to welcoming a highly skilled workforce and partnering with the Communications Workers of America to provide premier telecommunications services throughout Connecticut," Wilderotter added. Approximately 2700 current AT&T employees would transfer to Frontier under the proposed sale agreement.