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TVInews - 102 Updating the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sprint and Cable landline Firms Form VoIP alliance. Partnership will set the stage to abide by FCC's approval of SBC and Verizon buyouts of AT&T and MCI. Phone companies plan to provide WiFi VATs dial tone video, text services to all land line customers, a VoIP - WiFi trendsetting event started in 1907 by AT&T and NBS100.
• 02. Sprint VoIP Deal
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1. Feature Story / FCC OKs Mergers of Telecom Giants
* 45th Week - 2005 / Like a magical poof, the Federal regulators approved the creation of two telecommunications giants Monday, putting its imprimatur on a major transformation in the industry.
The Federal Communications Commission cleared the way for SBC Communications Inc. to acquire AT&T Corp. for $16 billion and for Verizon Communications Inc. to buy MCI Inc. for $8.5 billion, after Last-minute conditions for competition help clear the way for SBC to acquire AT&T and for Verizon to buy MCI.
Some competitors and consumer advocacy groups that opposed the unions were heartened by last-minute conditions that, for instance, require the combined companies to make high-speed Internet easier to obtain. The indepentdent WiFi and VoIP backers of the deals, said they would enable their new VATs dial tone and SIP services to be rolled out more quickly.
SBC Chairman Edward E. Whitacre said the agency's unanimous vote recognized that the merger would "enhance competition, help bring new technologies to market faster and provide real benefits to consumers and businesses."
Said FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin: "These mergers create strong global carriers that will vigorously compete both internationally and domestically."
The commission's two Democrats, though, insisted on conditions intended to promote competition.
After the merger, SBC will be known as AT&T. Both SBC and Verizon will be required to sell stand-alone high-speed Internet service. In addition, the two companies agreed not to interfere with competing online services that customers choose to use.
"Once the public gets used to the notion that they're entitled to buy DSL without the carrier's phone service, it's going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle," Putala said. MORE EDITOR'S NOTES BELOW

Part 02 / Just before the FCC OKed the SBC and Verizon buyout, Sprint Nextel Corp. and four big cable companies joined forces on Wednesday the 3rd of November, to provide customers with NBS100's VATs dial tone WiFi, VoIP systems, video, audio and text over the Internet - in a deal that'll go along with the FCC approval of the SBC and Verizon buyout, with conditions.
The 20-year arrangement delivers what backers call the quadruple play of information services and sets the stage for big battles with phone giants that are preparing to add video programming to their own rapidly growing complement of products.
Sprint would split the $200-million investment with the cable companies: Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Communications Inc. The deal gives the cable operators access to Sprint's network and allows them to sell wireless services to customers.
The VATs wireless mobile telephone can play video and music and can send text, just like Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable and Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod do. "The iHandy VATs wireless, will be a natural trend setter that started way back in 1907 with the NBS100 wireless telephone. Mark Sovol, said "licensing deals on the iHandy are now available."
One of the new products to be rolled out, for instance, will be the NBS100 iHandy VATs wireless sidwinder, that would allow Sprint cellphone users to set their digital video recorders or see downloaded programs on their cellphones. FOR MORE STORY SEE WiFi90.
Although the Sprint partnership with the cable firms is a joint venture, no new company will be formed. Instead, an undetermined number of executives from each company will form a governance council to guide managers and determine how to spend the $200-million investment. Engineers from each firm will work collaboratively to solve the technical challenges.
Sprint will have one vote and all the cable companies, including others that may join the venture, will have a single vote, said Sprint spokesman Scott Stoffel.
In the meantime, phone companies such as SBC Communications Inc. are pursuing their own plans with their new buyout AT&T, taking the lead as they did in 1910 and 1913 by the enactment of the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, and the 1913 "Kingsbury Commitment." FOR MORE STORY.
SBC, California's dominant phone company, said the venture was "really no surprise." SBC spokesman Steven Smith said, "We are already doing what the cable companies are just starting to scratch the surface on."
One SBC product, for example, would let customers of its majority-owned Cingular Wireless put the cellphone into a cradle attached to home phones, turning cellular calls into conventional land-line calls at home.
The Sprint-cable partnership deal positions the cable industry to challenge SBC, Verizon and other VoIP phone companies in the market serving small and medium-size businesses.
"So many businesses want that quadruple play," said analyst Steve Hilton at Yankee Group, a research firm.
But with similar offerings eventually taking place around the world, Mark Sovol, of NBS100, said, "the pitch will be the same, except this time around, we'll have the VATs WiFi VoIP system we can work with. Plus the local "big name" landline phone companies, located in every city in the world. Our wireless cemetery program is in full swing." MORE STORY ABOUT WIRELESS CEMETERIES AND KEEPING TRACK OF THE DECEASED. / ALSO SEE WIRELESS CEMETERY.


3. Editor's Note / Updating the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
"The order the commission adopts today falls far short of ideal," said Commissioner Michael J. Copps. "Yet, clearly, this is better than approving these mergers without any conditions."
A little more than a month ago, Martin had given his three FCC colleagues drafts of proposed approvals that carried no significant conditions, raising the ire of consumers and competitors, said Christopher Putala, executive vice president for public policy at Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. in Atlanta.
Opponents found sympathetic ears in Copps and Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, both of whom pressed for conditions that guaranteed some level of competition.
The same consumer and political forces that helped shape the merger conditions, he said, should now turn their attention to Congress as lawmakers update the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
"Approval of these mergers undermines more than 20 years of efforts to introduce competition into the residential local and long-distance telecommunications market," said Gene Kimmelman, public policy director at Consumers Union.
Verizon, which already offers stand-alone DSL, called the combination "undeniably in the public interest."
Both Verizon and SBC are upgrading their networks to take super-fast fiber-optic lines to or near homes to deliver television programming. They look to the cable companies as their chief competitors.
After the mergers, Verizon would remain the nation's largest telecom company, based on combined revenue last year of $92 billion. The new AT&T would be the next largest with $71.3 billion. BellSouth Corp. would be third with $20.3 billion in sales last year.
The deals can be closed after the FCC issues a written order, expected this month, and California and several other states approve them.

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Converging News 452005 / TeleCom BuyOuts, Spinoffs and Asset Seizure Boom







Analysts say the partnership presages the day when cable and phone companies compete head to head for the same customers. It also underscores the growing dependence between the technology and entertainment industries as new gadgetry enables people to slice and dice their media any way they want it.
Although the partnership deal is significant, "probably five years from now, it will be much more significant," said Mike Paxton, an analyst for technology research firm In-Stat. "For competition, it turns up the heat on the phone companies, but not a huge amount because they've been talking about doing this for years."
Architects of the deal said it would allow customers to take programming with them wherever they went.
"It's truly marrying the fixed line and the wireless for voice and video," said Weston Henderek, an analyst for research firm Current Analysis Inc.
"What this is about is being able to extend the consumer experience beyond the home," Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts said.
For instance, the group said it planned to sell high-speed cellular handsets that could stream video, make Internet calls and collect voice mails in a single in-box.
"The examples given [Wednesday] were to jazz up the agreement," analyst Paxton said. "But they're so far in the future that it's certainly something consumers won't see in the next 12 months. They're probably five years away."
Many management and technological challenges remain.

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Josie Cory
Publisher/Editor TVI Magazine
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Yes90 tviNews S90 102 Updating the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sprint and Cable landline Firms Form VoIP alliance. Partnership will set the stage to abide by FCC's approval of SBC and Verizon buyouts of AT&T and MCI. Phone companies plan to provide WiFi VATs dial tone video, text services to all land line customers, a VoIP - WiFi trendsetting event started in 1907 by AT&T and NBS100. • / Television International Magazine's Person Of The Week POWeek 452005 - / NEWS Convergence - 45th Week of 2005 November Issue / Feature Story • 102WiFiVATsVoIPjoinsSprint.htm Smart90, s90tv, lookradio, wifi90, tvimagazine, dv90, vratv, xingtv, Kudoads, Kudocasting, Ddiaries, nbs100, Look Radio, Troy Cory-Stubblefield, Josie Cory - Television With No Borders

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