The FCC has approved Verizon’s $ 3.9 billion dollar acquisition of the cable operators’ 4G spectrum, clearing the way for Big Red to build the LTE network of its dreams and the wireless-wireline cartel of everybody else’s nightmares.
The deal still must go before a federal judge, but since the US Department of Justice lifted all of its objections to the deal last week, it’s pretty much smooth sailing for Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House from here on out.
Once it gets the final go ahead Verizon will take possession of 20 MHz or more of pristine Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses, which it plans to use to build a supplementary high-capacity LTE network parallel to its current near-nationwide 4G infrastructure. While the FCC dealt primarily with the spectrum transfer, the approval implicitly gives Verizon and its new cable buddies permission to divide the wireline and wireless markets between them. The cable companies will resell Verizon’s mobile service, and Verizon can now sell cable broadband and TV service in any area where it doesn’t offer its FiOS fiber-to-the-home connections.
Image courtesy of Flickr user turtlemom4bacon.